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Tributes paid to post mistress

PUBLISHED: 08:33 30 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

WHILE nearly everything has changed around them, Marjorie and Brian Pratt have always provided a constant cornerstone of community life in Warren Heath.

WHILE nearly everything has changed around them, Marjorie and Brian Pratt have always provided a constant cornerstone of community life in Warren Heath.

With their cheery and welcoming manner, the couple ran the Warren Heath Post Office, in Felixstowe Road, with great success for more than 40 years.

Everyone knew them and they knew everyone else, which is why it came as such a horrible shock to the whole community when Mrs Pratt died last month.

Having taken on the running of the post office in July 1959, the couple had already decided to call it and a day and enjoy some well-earned retirement together.

Such illusions were shattered when 70-year-old Mrs Pratt saw her blood disorder – which had been monitored for 20 years – take a turn for the worse.

Despite the best efforts of the oncology unit at Ipswich Hospital, Mrs Pratt died on March 31.

Her loss is today still being keenly felt by both her family and customers.

Around 300 cards of condolence have been received by the family and more than 200 people attended the funeral, which was held over the road at St Augustine's Church.

Daughter Christine Storey, 36, an only child, said: "Mummy lived her life for her family and other people. Our lives will never be the same again.

"She knew the names of all her customers and everyone knew her. My parents have seen people grow up and then come back with their children."

Husband Brian, 67, is still trying to come to terms with his loss.

He said: "I hope I've got a few years left with Christine and Mark but there is such a huge gap in my life. A gap I can't and don't want to fill.

"She was a woman of great quality and a loving wife. We had a wonderful marriage and we worked as a team."

Mrs Pratt, who had a strong Christian faith, particularly enjoyed walking in the countryside with her dogs and spent many family holidays in Askrigg, Yorkshire.

Along with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and Mark, the family was well known in the Yorkshire village – to the extent that some locals even drove down to attend her funeral.

Two benches – one in Askrigg and another at her place of marriage, St Augustine's Church – will be unveiled to provide a lasting reminder of her life.

For Mrs Pratt, being in and around post offices was in her blood. She grew up at a post office in Stanton, which was run by her mother.

Four years ago, more than 50 people joined Mrs Pratt and her husband in celebrating 40 years of running the Warren Heath Post Office, which is now being considered for closure in July.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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