Fitting farewell for Gladys Stonehouse - family touched by community's 'amazing' tribute to Jarrow shopkeeper
Mourners lined the streets as the community joined friends and family in paying a fitting farewell to a much-loved shopkeeper.
Gladys Stonehouse who ran J&G Stonehouse Shop in Wood Terrace, Monkton Village, Jarrow, for 65 years, was much-loved in the neighbourhood.
She died aged 96 on Wednesday, May 5, just four years after she retired from working in the shop she and husband Jack had owned for more than six decades.
Customers and neighbours lined the streets as they joined with loved ones in paying their respects to the community stalwart.
Her funeral procession, led by a piper, set off from outside the shop, where floral tributes had been piled up by well-wishers.
Pictures of Gladys over the years were also set up at the front of the store.
Her great niece Kaitlyn Murphy, for whom Gladys was a grandmother figure, said: "It was an amazing send-off for Gladys.
"It was a really fitting goodbye with all the flowers and everyone outside clapping as she had her final journey through Monkton Village. It was touching to see so many people there, she meant a lot to everybody, not just me and my mam.
"She really had a huge impact on the community. If anybody needed any help everyone knew they could go to her. She was a mother figure to a lot of people and was always willing to help anybody
Prior to the funeral, Gladys’ niece, Elizabeth Murphy, 46, told The Gazette what she meant to the community, with the shop acting as a hub, and customers chatting for hours inside.
“Gladys brought me up as if I was her daughter and when Kaitlyn was born, Gladys just adored and spoilt her rotten,” she said.
"She lived a happy life and was well loved by everyone, people would just come into the shop to be cheered up by all of her stories.
"Anyone who moved away would come back and ask her about their own families – she would always be able to provide an answer as she knew everyone.”
Gladys trained to be a nurse throughout the duration of the Second World War and then travelled Europe when the conflict ended.