Mourners celebrate Emma's life

AS her frail voice filled the church in which her small wooden coffin sat, mourners got more of an insight into one Ipswich woman than they had ever heard before.

AS her frail voice filled the church in which her small wooden coffin sat, mourners got more of an insight into one Ipswich woman than they had ever heard before.

A recorded interview by 82-year-old Emma Hunt played at her own funeral, at St Mary at Stoke, yesterday which was attended by around 200 people.

Mrs Hunt had become a well-known character around the streets of Ipswich, mainly seen selling copies of The Evening Star with her boxer dog, on Lloyds Avenue.

Almost all of those who attended the church had only known her through stopping to chat to her on the streets of Ipswich yet felt they wanted to say farewell.

During the interview, originally for Radio Suffolk, Mrs Hunt took the mourners on a journey through her life from her early days of living in a workhouse in Norfolk, to her Burrell Road home, in Ipswich, in which she lived until her death on New Year's Eve last year.

She said: "When I was young I went to a workhouse. We had to work before going to school. I stayed there until I was 18.

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"My mum lived in a hospital but by the time I was 21 I had moved to Ipswich and she came to live with me."

She cared for her mother until her death and later looked after her cousin Jack too.

She cycled villages near Ipswich to work picking vegetables and carrying corn before coming back to the town centre to sell newspapers.

She admitted that she had never travelled as far as London, and certainly never been on an aeroplane, but agreed she was a well-loved lady and said she had been given everything she needed in life.

Canon Tony Jones, who took the service, thanked those who cared and helped Mrs Hunt throughout her life.

He said: "She was a kind hearted lady who never complained and worked right up until her death.

"I believe she is in a better place now."

As the crowd sang the hymn Jerusalem the coffin, with a bunch of pink roses on top, was led out of the church.

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