A MEMORIAL service for Rita Mary Grantham of Donington on Bain, a long-standing resident and active member of the community, has been held at St Andrew’s Church in the village.
The church funeral service following Rita’s death in Louth Hospital in December was cancelled when snow made the roads impassable.
The cremation at Alford eventually went ahead at short notice with only family members present.
Funeral arrangements were by Walkers of Louth and the Rev Pam Costin officiated.
The church was filled to capacity with family and friends who gathered to give thanks for her life, as all had been saddened to learn of her death following a short illness.
Rita, who was aged 78, had no children and is survived by her husband John, cousin Colin, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.
The only child of the late Mr and Mrs Clayton, Rita was born in Hull, where the family were bombed out of their home several times during the early years of the war.
Rita had previously spent holidays in Donington on Bain, visiting her grandparents.
At the age of seven, her father’s family suggested that she and her parents move to the village to be near them and away from the raids.
It was to be her home for over seventy years.
The family initially lived with Rita’s grandparents before moving to Sparrow Hall, one of two isolated cottages owned by the Stenigot Estate.
He father was employed by the Stenigot Estate and the cottage has since been demolished.
Rita attended Donington on Bain School until she was 14 years old.
On leaving, she worked for the Strawson family at Belmont before joining Mr and Mrs Peter Dennis at Stenigot House where she spent many happy years.
Rita and her parents had moved the short distance to The Ings, a farmhouse owned by her grandparents by the time she met John who lived at Ranby.
They were married at St Andrews Church and their first home was at Lime Pit Cottages on Manor Hill.
The couple later moved to Meadow Croft which was to be their home, with their cats, until Rita was taken ill and went to hospital and John went in to care.
After her marriage, Rita enjoyed varied work.
She spent time with Woolworths, a Louth biscuit factory, and worked on the land for the Stenigot Estate and became very well known in the local community.
Rita served on Donington on Bain Parish Council, was a member of the Village Hall Management Committee and actively involved with Cat’s Protection, where she and John helped with fundraising.
The couple were both members of Louth Arthritis Care, regularly attending while they were able and serving as entertainment officers.
Rita had been a long-standing member of the Asterby and Goulceby Women’s Institute and served as president.
When it closed, due to lack of membership, Rita joined the Keddington and Louth Park branch.
She was for a long-time the Red Cross Link in the village and a long standing president of the Forget Me Not Club while also organising the monthly meetings with friends and arranging fundraising events and coach outings for the members.
When John retired from full-time work, he and Rita enjoyed many coach holidays together in this country and abroad.
Rita loved gardening and she and John were members of the Barkwith and District Gardeners Association.
They were successful exhibitors at the annual shows and Rita also enjoyed flower arranging and was a member of the Donington on Bain Flower Club.
Her other hobbies included craftwork, patchwork and embroidery, alongside attending all the social and fundraising events in the village and lending a willing hand where needed.
Family mourners: John Grantham, husband; Ken and Joyce Leighton, brother-in-law and sister-in-law; Vera Grantham, sister-in-law; Colin Good, cousin, Jane Grantham; David and Louise Pilcher representing Kate Pilcher, Sarah Pilcher, Austin Grantham and Jayne Wright, nephews and nieces; Roger and Barbara Chester; Rachel Meese, Isobel Meese and Lily Meese also representing Mathew Chester; Nigel Chester and Sandra White also representing Kathleen Woodway; Eileen Rogers also representing Vance Rogers and Sharon Berg, cousins.
Other mourners: Roger Harrison, organist; John and Dot Cope; Graham and Lynne Parkinson; Jean Grant, also representing Les Grant; Helen Grant; Edna Turner; John and Mary Simms, also representing the Whitwell family; Enid Hotchin also representing Emma Hotchin; Linda Forman also representing the Village Hall Management Committee; Alice Hodgson, also representing Donington on Bain Parish Council; Brenda Ward also representing Cats Protection; Nicky Lancaster; Kathy Routh also representing Cats Protection; Christine Dean and Christine Chapman, also representing Pat Emmerson and Keddington and Louth Park Women’s Institute; Pat Bilcliff and Kathy Johnson also representing the Louth Arthritis Group; Sue Mison; Connie Smith;
Jeff and Pam Knight also representing Mr and Mrs Sid Chattington; Janet Webb, Denis and Jean Thompson also representing the Forget Me Not Club; Anne Baxter; Mavis Stubbs; Evelyn Spendlow; Julie Stevens; Kevin Wallis also representing the Village Hall Management Committee; Sheila and Bill Minns also representing Barkwith and District Gardeners Association; Janet and Albert Martin also representing Sally Cosgrove; Barbara Mohan, Brian and Ethel Kirk; June Grant; Pete and Pauline Stubbs; Lyn Small; Terry and Margaret Bench; Rosemary Needham; Maurice and Mollie Hackett; Ruby Willoughby; Wendy Arnold also representing the Arnold family and Vera Turner; Maureen Hollis; Jean Wallis; Alison Thomas also representing Phil Thomas and Emily Taylor; Elizabeth Hickling; Christine Bannister; Paul Slinger also representing Rai Greenwood; Jan Roantree also representing Ian Roantree; Tristan Roantree; Sacha Roantree; Ray and Maddy Smith; Rosemary Parkinson also representing Ann Needham; Marilyn Steer; Martin and Jackie Scutt.