Family comes together to celebrate life of South Shields grandmother of 111

Family of the late Doreen Ashby walk from her home to the Mill Dam with Yellow Roses and messages.
Family of the late Doreen Ashby walk from her home to the Mill Dam with Yellow Roses and messages.

A family came together in South Shields to pay a touching tribute to a hugely-loved great-grandmother.

Doreen Ashby died on Saturday at the age of 95.

Doreen Ashby.

Doreen Ashby.

The mum-of-six was a grandmother and great-grandmother to an incredible 111 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many of them met up on Tuesday to remember Doreen.

They walked from her home in Fawcett Way to King Street in the town centre, before heading to the Mill Dam, where a flower was left in her honour.

Doreen had regularly visited the spot, as it was a favourite place of her son William, who died aged 65 last year.

Among those paying their respects last night was Doreen’s daughter, Lilian Spence, 70.

She was very proud of her family and we all loved her so deeply

Lilian Spence

She said: “My mum was such a lovely person, and everybody loved her.

“We’re a very close family and she loved every one of us.

“She was very proud of her family and we all loved her so deeply.

“This was a chance for us to remember and celebrate her life.

Family of the late Doreen Ashby walk from her home to the Mill Dam with Yellow Roses and messages.

Family of the late Doreen Ashby walk from her home to the Mill Dam with Yellow Roses and messages.

“The children are too young to go to the funeral, so this was their chance to pay their respects.

“It was fitting that we ended the walk at the Mill Dam, as my brother used to fish there and I’d take my mum there every Tuesday to lay a flower for him and pay our respects.”

Doreen was married to William Robson Ashby, who died in 1977.

She enjoyed attending the Brigham and Cowan social club in South Shields, where she regularly visited on Friday nights.

Most important to her, though, was her beloved family.

Lilian added: “Everyone will have fond memories of her and always remember her with a smile on their face.

“She used to sit in her chair at the window and keep the blinds open so everyone could wave to her on their way past.

“You’d get into trouble if you didn’t wave!

“She also loved to go out on a Friday night to Brigham’s, however she was feeling.

“One day she was crying because she had a lot of pain in her legs, and we called a doctor, who sent a nurse out to see her.

“I went over to her house and she started to feel a bit better, so much so that when the nurse eventually came out, she wasn’t at home any more – she had gone to the club!

“She was a very happy person, loved by everyone she knew.”