A POPULAR Riding Mill woman is being remembered for her caring nature and generosity after passing away at the age of 76.

A funeral last week at Mountsett Crematorium, and a reception at Riding Mill Parish Hall, brought together around 160 people who had known Jean Latham.

Originally from Darlington, Jean moved to Riding Mill with her husband Philip in 1970, after they met while studying in Coventry.

She originally worked as a social worker, before starting a long career as a manager with Tynedale Citizens Advice Bureau, helping to develop the service across the district before she retired in 2002.

But Jean continued to use her time to do good.

She became involved with Debt Advice Within Northumberland (DAWN), offering telephone advice to those in need until around five years ago.

She also helped with the local delivery of meals on wheels and volunteered in Riding Mill’s community cafe, where she organised the rota for many years.

Philip said: “In particular, she believed in ensuring that people had enough to get by and had the key things, like a roof over their head and food in the kitchen.”

Their daughter Katharine added: “She had a very strong moral compass and was very socially aware – and she was very kind towards people.”

Jean was often stopped by people in the street who had benefited from her work, and her family said they had been flooded with cards and messages from people who had known her since she passed away.

Family was important to Jean and she enjoyed spending time with Philip, her daughters Emma and Katharine, her 14-year-old grandson Max and her beloved smooth-haired Fox Terrier, Pickles.

As great lovers of the outdoors, Jean and Philip enjoyed walking both abroad and closer to home, and the family enjoyed spending time in their favourite holiday spot on the Isle of Arran.

A keen pianist and choral singer, Jean was part of the Hexham Abbey Festival Choir for more than 20 years, and was also a valued member of the Riding Mill Choral Society.

Having achieved grade seven in piano as a child, Jean sat her grade eight exam after retiring and enjoyed having her friends around to play piano duets.

Jean passed away after a diagnosis of breast cancer, but her family said that even as she became more poorly, she took joy from being able to look at the garden out of her window, as she was a big lover of wild flowers and birds.

A gathering at Riding Mill Parish Hall following Jean’s funeral saw her friends from the community cafe prepare tea, coffee, cakes and scones as everyone gathered to remember her life.