A WOMAN who dedicated herself to helping others in her local community has died.

Ruth Everatt (83), of Bellingham, died peacefully at home on Good Friday, after falling ill at the beginning of Lent.

Music was a major feature in Ruth’s life and she played the organ each week at St Oswald’s RC Church in Bellingham, as well as playing the recorder in the Tarset Ceilidh Band and singing with the North Tyne and Redewater Choral Society.

She also played a key role on the Bellingham Town Hall Committee and at ecumenical Churches Together events.

Her funeral on Tuesday, April 30, was attended by around 150 people and held at St Oswald’s.

The service was led by Catholic priest, Father Peter Stoddart with John Roper and both the Anglican and Methodist United Reformed Ministers, Rev. Dr Susan Ramsaran and Deacon Anne Taylor, in the congregation.

Up until her final weeks she was still managing to enjoy cooking, making marmalade on her long-serving Aga, and in her last week she was laughing and joking and sharing reminiscences with friends from The Unlikely Ladies singing group.

Her life experience spanned the country with a childhood in Glasgow and education in Harrogate. Ruth lived in London, Devon and Edinburgh before finally settling in Northumberland.

Close friend, Linda Young, said: “She was a highly intelligent lady with wide interests and, but great company and huge fun to be around.

“Above all she leaves a massive gaping hole in the lives of so many people whom she befriended and supported through difficult and distressing times, opening her heart and home to give comfort and a safe haven to those in need.”

“With no hesitation, fuss or sentimentality she helped others whenever she could in her own inimitable, self-effacing, down-to-earth way, setting an example of sincere and practical Christianity to the rest of us.

“She was immensely talented, inventive and resourceful, and an avid reader, but it seems her major calling was, simply, to look after anyone and everyone she could.”

Ruth leaves behind Freddie, her husband of 62 years, six children and ten grandchildren.