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Donations in May’s memory go to hospice

CHARITY SUM ... Alan Johnson hands St Clares Hospice fundraiser Maire Watson a cheque for �531 in memory of his late wife May Thornton Johnson, below.

CHARITY SUM ... Alan Johnson hands St Clares Hospice fundraiser Maire Watson a cheque for �531 in memory of his late wife May Thornton Johnson, below.

MONEY raised following the death of a South Tyneside artist and animal lover will boost patient care.

May Thornton Johnson died on January 12, of heart failure, at the age of 89.

At her funeral, friends and family were asked to give donations, in lieu of flowers, and £530 was raised, with the cash being donated to St Clare’s Hospice, Jarrow, where Mrs Johnson received respite care last December.

Her husband, Alan Johnson, 86, of West Avenue, South Shields, said: “I was delighted to hand the money over to the hospice, where my wife received such excellent care.

“We also raised a further £80, which has been donated to several animal charities.”

A devoted married couple for 63 years, Mrs and Mrs Johnson both attended art classes.

But Mrs Johnson was totally committed to her art and an exhibition of her work will be shown at the Customs House, South Shields, from March 1 to 14.

Mr Johnson added: “My wife was a brilliant artist and loved painting animals.

“May’s original paintings are too precious to sell, but we hope to sell prints from the exhibition and raise money for animal organisations such as PETA and the Dogs’ Trust.”

A former teacher at Temple Park Junior School, South Shields, Mrs Johnson was the great niece of Richard Thornton, who built the Sunderland Empire Theatre and others in the Empire chain.

Marie Watson, for St Clare’s Hospice, thanked Mr Johnson for his kind donation.

St Clare’s needs to raise almost £2m a year for patient care.

To help the hospice, call 451 6400.

Twitter @terrykelly16

 

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