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Tributes paid to Ann North-Graves, who spent her life helping others

Ann North-Graves, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Ann North-Graves, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Archant

She was a loving wife, parent and a friend to many, known for her lust for life and unstoppable enthusiasm for helping others.

Ann North-Graves with MP Norman Lamb, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYAnn North-Graves with MP Norman Lamb, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

And now tributes have been paid to Ann North-Graves, of Roughton in north Norfolk, who has died aged 81.

Husband Tony and son David said Ann would be fondly remembered by the many people whose lives she touched.

Tony said: “What did she do?

“Interfered with people’s lives, bossed them about, volunteered them for things they didn’t know they wanted to do, organised them, regimented them, and really was a general nuisance.

Ann North-Graves as a young woman. Picture: COURTESY THE FAMILYAnn North-Graves as a young woman. Picture: COURTESY THE FAMILY

“Somehow, people not only accepted this, liked her, and came back for more.

“Her aim in life was simply to try to make life better for others, often to the detriment of herself.”

Ann was born in Stoke-on-Trent and lived in Surrey, Wales, Norfolk and Germany when she was growing up, and became a student nurse aged 17, later qualifying as a registered nurse.

She met Tony after answering a request in the Sun newspaper for pen friends for servicemen overseas - he was serving in Cyprus at the time.

Ann North-Graves, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYAnn North-Graves, when she was presented with one of her 'community hero' awards. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

They married in 1958 and moved to Roughton in 1977.

Ann ‘adopted’ Cromer’s tennis courts and ran them on a volunteer basis. She became a rural development officer, setting up activities including a bowling club and an inter-village sports competition and getting volunteers to help run them.

She also worked with Age Concern, the Women’s Employment, Enterprise and Training Unit as helped run adult education courses as well as many other community groups.

Among the accolades Ann was given for her work included two Cromer Town Council awards for her ‘valued and outstanding contribution to the community’, and a ‘community hero’ older persons champion award from the North Norfolk Community Partnership.

Tony said: “She was so generous, she would give anything away. She used to spend hours down at Cromer Library, advising people on their right, their benefits, all kinds of things.”

She was also made a life member of the Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Association.

Ann’s funeral took place today (Friday, May 4) at her church, St Mary’s in Roughton, with mourners encouraged to wear colourful clothes, in memory of her own dress sense and personality.

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