She was loved by everyone - tributes to Joanne Ford, landlady of The Shimpling Bush, who died this month aged 42

Joanne Ford, landlady at the Shimpling Bush

Joanne Ford, landlady at the Shimpling Bush - Credit: Archant

Mother, daughter and ‘friend to everyone’ Joanne Ford, landlady at The Shimpling Bush, will be “sorely missed” after she died suddenly.

Joanne, 42, known as Jo, was a mother-of-two and had been running The Bush with her family for six years. She died on Friday, November 14 after a brain aneurism.

Her son Craig, 24, has decided to raise money for Breast Cancer Care, a cause close to her heart, in her memory. More than £500 has been donated so far to a JustGiving page online and a further £700 donated at her funeral.

Pauline Millar, Jo’s stepmother, said: “She was Mary Poppins, perfect in every way. We have got so many memories of her, wonderful memories. She would help everybody, she was very kind. Lame ducks and lost causes, she was there for everyone who needed it. We have over 80 cards and counting – she was loved by everyone.”

Previously a social worker dedicated to helping children, Jo pursued the lifelong dream of her father Dusty Millar when her family took over the pub and “turned it round”.

Daughter Becca, 20, said: “I will miss her very much. She was working on the Thursday with me, she was fine. It was very sudden.

“She liked dancing, she loved going out clubbing and I would have to pick her up at 4am in the morning.”

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Jo was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, on the Friday where she died in the company of her family. She leaves behind a son, daughter, husband Paul and her stepmother.

Bernard Essery, a friend of Jo, posted on the pub’s Facebook page: “The family are all very shocked by Jo’s sudden passing, but are being strong, supported by each other and all the wishes and support from friends and customers.

“For this they send their thanks it means a lot to them. Don’t cry because Jo’s gone, smile because she was here.”

He added: “She was a big part of Shimpling community. More than just a landlady she was a good friend supporting many of us through bad times, this I know personally.

“Walking through the village this morning I felt there was big hole in our community which will take time to heal.”

Posting on the JustGiving page, friends described Jo as kind, beautiful, friendly and sorely missed.

If you wish to donate in Jo’s memory, go to