Suffolk Mayoress loses cancer fight

A MAYOR today paid tribute to his “wonderful” wife who has died after a battle with cancer.

Laurence Cawley

A MAYOR today paid tribute to his “wonderful” wife who has died after a battle with cancer.

Bob and Megan Cockle were made mayor and mayoress of St Edmundsbury in May this year after celebrating their golden wedding anniversary last December.

But even during the couple's inauguration as mayor and mayoress, Mrs Cockle was said to be in pain as a result of the cervical cancer she was diagnosed with last year.

She died last Thursday at the age of 70.

Speaking from his Bury St Edmunds home today, Mr Cockle, ward councillor for the St Olaves area of Bury, told how his wife has been an essential support and friend throughout their marriage.

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“When I was first asked to be mayor I spoke to her and she said I should do it. She was very proud that the council voted for us to be mayor and mayoress.

“She loved the borough and whether she was speaking with a high court judge or the person in the street she could make people at ease and comfortable whoever they were.

“My lady wife was wonderful. She was born in Bury St Edmunds and her father Charles Palfrey served in the Suffolk Regiment. If he had known his daughter would become mayoress of St Edmundsbury he would have been extremely proud.

“Throughout my career she was there backing me up. In all those years together you really rely on certain people and now things will have to change.

“I've got a remarkable family and I'm sure she would want me to carry on being mayor. So that is what I will do.”

He thanked their GP Dr Janet Rutherford, who, he said, had helped give them a few more days together. He also praised the Macmillan cancer nurses who helped her during her final weeks.

John Griffiths, leader of the council, said: “Megan was a wonderful woman who will be remembered with great affection. Our thoughts are with Bob and his family at this time.”

Her funeral will take place at West Suffolk Crematorium at 11.15am next Monday. The family has asked for family flowers only and any donations to be made payable to St Nicholas' Hospice, care of Armstrongs Funeral Service at 43 St Andrew's Street North, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1TH.