Video: More than 100 mourners gather in Whitton to pay tribute to popular and respected ‘Ma’ Doris Uter

Funeral procession with horse and carriage for Doris Uter. Doris Uter died at the age of 83. She was

Funeral procession with horse and carriage for Doris Uter. Doris Uter died at the age of 83. She was one of the first Jamaican people to come to ipswich in the 50s. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A pillar of the community who was known to all simply as Ma.

Doris Uter with a member of her family

Doris Uter with a member of her family - Credit: Archant

More than 100 family and friends turned out at St Mary and St Boltoph church in Whitton yesterday for the funeral of Doris Uter, who died on September 1 at the age of 83.

Mrs Uter was born in Jamaica in 1930 and had four children there before moving to Britain in 1961. She settled in Ipswich and married Youzel Uter, who was to be her husband for 51 years, in 1963.

They had four children together and later adopted a fifth. The pair had 35 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Rev Andrew Dotchin conducted the ceremony and said Mrs Uter was a very outgoing and popular woman.


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“She was one of those people who, if you went into town with her, it would take two hours because everyone would stop to talk to her,” he said.

“(At her house) there was always food and there were always children and always laughter.

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“The community just called her Ma.

“If I wanted to know what was happening I went to talk to Doris.”

Mr Dotchin added Mrs Uter was well respected amongst the Jamaican community in Whitton and often helped others settle into the area.

“She was the grandma on the corner and her door was always open,” he added.

For more than 40 years Mrs Uter worked in Ipswich’s hospitals, first at Anglesea Road as an orderly and then Heath Road.

She was also a parent teacher advisor at Whitton Junior School and an Elder at St Mary and St Boltoph, as well as a volunteer with various charities.

A procession before the funeral saw Mrs Uter’s coffin taken to the church by horse-drawn carriage with mourners walking behind.

Mr Dotchin said: “She was someone who made the community and she will leave a big hole.”

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