Movement in Uckfield High Street slowed to walking pace yesterday and pedestrians clapped as a hearse made its way to the home of retired nurse Jean Gilden.
The hearse, carrying NHS signs and banners, was led by funeral director Emma Naylor, from Fuller and Scott, to Woodlands Close on Manor Park Estate, where Jean’s husband Derek waited with flowers.
Emma said afterwards she found the day very touching: “What a privilege to be able to give this lady a wonderful send off with the support of Uckfield.”
Jean’s funeral is due to take place early this morning in Eastbourne, without mourners because of the Coronavirus, but the service will be recorded to be sent to one of Jean’s daughters in Canada.
Her last journey home was organised to give family, friends, and neighbours, the chance to pay their respects.
The hearse arrived at 11.45am, the time Jean, and her husband Derek, used to gather with neighbours on their doorsteps to have morning coffee.
Jean was 73 and she died on April 26.
She was a nurse for more than 50 years in the NHS in Sussex, Kent, and London. Aspiring nurses she mentored loved her so much they often referred to her as ‘Mum’.
Read more about Jean in another Uckfield News article: Chance for family, friends, and neighbours, to say farewell to Jean Gilden.