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‘Amazing’ Bury St Edmunds grandmother dies a week before her 106th birthday

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Bury St Edmunds resident, Mrs Ethel Walton, who died aged 105 in July
Bury St Edmunds resident, Mrs Ethel Walton, who died aged 105 in July

One of the oldest women in Bury St Edmunds has died only a week before her 106th birthday.

Mrs Ethel Edith Walton was born on July 31, 1911 in Rougham and had lived at her family home in Blomfield Street in Bury for more than 80 years.

Her granddaughter, Michele Bailey, said: “Ethel was an amazing lady with a big personality who lived life to the full. She made an impression on everybody she met and simply refused to become ‘old’ as her 106 years of life progressed.”

At the age of 14 she was sent away to become a nursemaid to two children who lived in a large house in Richmond, Surrey.

After two years away she returned and took a job as a housemaid in Bury where she met her husband, Ernest, who she wed at Rougham Church on Boxing Day, 1934.

They had two children, Michael in 1937 and Marian in 1946 and by the time she died she had four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and a great, great grandson.

During World War II she invited various American airmen to join her family for Sunday roast dinners and the airmen rewarded her with treats such as bananas and chocolate from Mildenhall airbase.

Apart from her family and her love of Bury and Ipswich Town Football Clubs, Michele said Ethel’s greatest passion were her flowers and she was very proud of having a Bury in Bloom award for her hard work when she was 102.

Ethel had said in a previous article by the Bury Free Press, marking her 100th birthday, how she had seen the town change over the years.

She said: “There is no comparison – it was a little Suffolk town and now it has expanded everywhere.

“But I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

Ethel died on July 24 and her funeral will be on Friday, August 18 at the Bury (Risby) Crematorium at 1.30pm and all are welcome.