Tributes to popular Jarrow shopkeeper Gladys Stonehouse after former wartime nurse dies aged 96
The family of Gladys Stonehouse, who ran J&G Stonehouse Shop for 65 years, have paid tribute to her after her death aged 96.
Gladys Stonehouse died Wednesday, May 5, just four years after she retired from working in the shop she and husband Jack had owned for 65 years.
The store, in Wood Terrace in Jarrow, acted as a community hub for many in the area, with Gladys often keeping people in the shop for hours chatting away with them.
Gladys’ niece, Elizabeth Murphy, 46, told the Gazette how she was willing to help others.
“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.
Elizabeth added: “Both she and Jack were well travelled, in the 1950s, they drove to Poland with their friend as he wanted to find out what had happened to his family.
"It meant that they saw Auschwitz as work was ongoing to clear it all up following the war and were even held at gunpoint by the Russians as they entered the area.”
Gladys was a grandparent figure to Elizabeth’s daughter Kaitlyn, who has fond memories of growing up and helping her in the shop.
The 25-year-old commented: “She was a hard working woman who will be a big miss to the family, we don’t know what we’ll do without her as she always knew what to do about when we had a problem.
"I remember she would always hold me in the shop and we would serve people together, she was just one of a kind.”
Gladys’ funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 18 – with the procession leaving from her shop at 11.30am.