Tributes to popular mayoress

A FORMER Suffolk mayoress has died of a broken heart after her health drastically deteriorated following the death of her beloved husband.Tributes have been paid to Sylvia English who died just months after her husband Peter, a former St Edmundsbury mayor, passed away and family and friends have spoken of the special relationship the couple shared.

A FORMER Suffolk mayoress has died of a broken heart after her health drastically deteriorated following the death of her beloved husband.

Tributes have been paid to Sylvia English who died just months after her husband Peter, a former St Edmundsbury mayor, passed away and family and friends have spoken of the special relationship the couple shared.

Mrs English, 77, of Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, died of heart and renal failure at West Suffolk Hospital at the end of last month.

Friends said her health deteriorated after her husband, borough mayor in 1986, died in December and she was unable to attend his memorial service.


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Borough councillor Sheila Wormleighton, who will be attending the former mayoress' funeral, said her husband's death had deeply affected Mrs English.

She said: "Mrs English took a turn for the worse when her husband died and was quite ill for some time. This often happens when couples are so close.

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"They shared common interests and they were very committed to the civic aspect of the borough - not just when Mr English was mayor but also during his time as a councillor.

"He had the complete support of his wife. They were a very close couple and it was very sad that she died so suddenly after her husband's death – but it was not too surprising.

Mr English died in December but his funeral was put back until February and then held at West Suffolk Hospital where his wife was recuperating.

A memorial service was held in Barrow but Mrs English was unable to attend and she later returned to hospital as her condition worsened.

Mary Hunt, a family friend for almost 40 years, said: "Sylvia and Peter did everything together for such a long time.

"Peter was so ill for about three years and Sylvia looked after him wonderfully. Sadly I think she neglected her own health and she was so devastated when she lost her husband.

"Sylvia was very outgoing and very friendly and she had a sort of sparkle. I have known Sylvia for a long time. She had a great zest for life and I will miss her enormously."

Mrs English's nephew Paul Lawrence said: "Aunt Sylvia had a vibrant personality with a great sense of humour, a devoted wife to Peter and very much involved in the local community.

Mr English, a former Suffolk schoolteacher for more than 40 years, was part of St Edmundsbury Borough Council since its formation in 1974.

Mrs Wormleighton added: "The pair of them as a couple very much embarked on the civil side of the council's duties in a very wholesome way.

"They didn't have children of their own but they had a kinship with people and they treated their roles like it was a member of their family."

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