Lifetime of service and love

Beryl Barker died peacefully at home aged 98.
Beryl Barker died peacefully at home aged 98.

A celebration of a lifetime of service and love was at the heart of the funeral of 98-year-old Beryl Barker.

Beryl died peacefully in the home in Quadring which she shared with her daughtei, Jane Iszatt, and where generations of her family knew her as 'nan'.

Many members of the family were joined by friends for her funeral at Pinchbeck Crematorium on Tuesday.

In her eulogy, Jane said: "When my brother came on the morning of Wednesday, June 19, his first words were 'and now we are two'.

"We were a family of seven - five children. Les and I were number three an four.

"The untimely death of her daughters - Vera, Chris and Jenny - was a great sadness in mum's and our lives. Another sadness was the loss of her husband, Fred, of 51 years - our dad.

Berys was born in Benington in 1921. "It was a world very different to our own," said Jane. "Horses and carts, houses that we would describe as primitive, black leaded grates, coal fires, outside loos, hard physical labour.

"She went to several different schools - grand-dad was a farm foreman who moved regularly.

"Leaving school she went into service, eventually ending up at Dolby Hall near Spilsby as head cook - something of which she was rightly proud.

"The work ethic and standard of those days stayed with her throughout her life and was part of who she was.

"She married Fred in 1940 at Winsby Church. They eventually went to live next to her mum, where we were all born in the front room of Church Lane, Wyberton.

"During our growing up up she would work on the farm to earn extra money and then took charring jobs.

"Finally, she worked at Fogarty's as a curtain maker, cycling to work from Wyberton to Boston - no mean feat.

"She once said to me 'I never met anyone who had as much energy as I have'.

"Church Lane was a magical place - all her grandchildren spent time there - they knew its space, the board games, card games or jig-saws that would be played or made.

"She and dad then moved to Chapel House, Sutterton, where she continued to be busy for 30 years - the house became the family hub.

"She had, on several occasions, to attend hospital for treatment or operations. On her last visit she told the surgeon, ' am a strong woman, both mentally and physically.' She was right and they were amazed.

"She said she came to live with Chris and I because she would see the babies - even when her hearing and sight were going, she still rocked the babies.

"When we went on holiday she stayed at White Lodge guest house with her grand-daughter, Viv, There she ironed, shared Viv's life, meeting friends and enjoying different routines. Laughter and love abounded.

"She will be missed."

Beryl leaves 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

A collection was made at the funeral for the Prostate Cancer charity.