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Farewell to lady with 'heart of gold'

PUBLISHED: 10:43 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:03 11 August 2010

Lilly Wareham

Lilly Wareham

COMMUNITY champion and servant to the borough, Lilly Wareham has died at the age of 85. Mrs Wareham, who had devoted her life to caring for the elderly, died after an operation on Friday, June 13. Just last month the caring pensioner had been honoured w

COMMUNITY champion and servant to the borough, Lilly Wareham has died at the age of 85.

Mrs Wareham, who had devoted her life to caring for the elderly, died after an operation on Friday, June 13.

Just last month the caring pensioner had been honoured with the Sydney Russell Memorial Award by the council for the huge impression she made on the borough.

Lilly, who was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, first came to the borough with her husband, Jack at the age of 19.

She began running Wantz Old Folks Club in Dagenham 1967, and within a year had turned it into such a success that it became the social hub of the community.

Lilly retired at 65, but went on to do relief work for the Age Concern organisation, which she continued to do for more than 33 years.

She also ran the Becontree Widows' Club for 20 years, helping grieving women overcome their loneliness.

After her funeral on Monday, her family and the old folks' charity paid tribute to the woman with 'a heart of gold.'

Her daughter, Jackie Snowdon said: "Mum was so caring, she would do anything for anybody. She had so many friends, and so many people loved her.

"She always wanted to do things for other people, and never wanted anything in return."

Even in her final days, Lilly spent time caring for her neighbours, and helping out at Age Concern.

Alison Scully, from Age Concern Dagenham, said: "When I first heard the news I was shocked.

"We had come to think of Lilly as an indestructible lady; she was so lively and did so much for people of the borough.

"She will be a sad loss to the community, especially to the elderly people. She had a heart of gold."

Lilly's funeral service was held at Oxlow Lane Catholic Church in Dagenham on Monday, followed by a burial at Eastbrookend Cemetery.

She leaves a son, daughter, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


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