Obituary: Grandmother who spent a lifetime helping other, dies at 91

The sons of Francis Westgate have paid tribute to their "bubbly" mother

The sons of Francis Westgate have paid tribute to their "bubbly" mother - Credit: Kerin Westgate (2013)

A “bubbly and cheerful” grandmother who went above and beyond to help others has died at the age of 91.  

From winning medals with her beloved dog, Jill, to planting a rainbow of flowers in her garden, Francis Louisa Westgate enjoyed a life filled with family accomplishments. 

Mrs Westgate, of Norwich, was born in Moulton St Mary, near Acle, in 1930, where she spent her childhood and attended the local school. 

She married Thomas James Westgate, of Acle, and they lived in the village until he died in 2001. Mrs Westgate then moved to Norwich in 2006 to be closer to her family.  

Together they had three sons; Keith, who died suddenly in 2021, Brian, and Kerin. 

She spent a number of years looking after the family home before taking up employment with Norfolk County Council as home help, a role she retired from after 25 years. Not one to rest on her laurels, she then became self-employed as private home help. 

Her sons described her as “bubbly and cheerful”. 

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“People who knew her loved having her round and chatting to them,” they said.  

“She was always being helpful and going above and beyond to get shopping for her old people, even when she was in her seventies. 

“She was always smiling until dad’s death, which hit her hard. She was our mother, always there to support and encourage us if she could and there to give advice if needed.” 

Mrs Westgate loved dogs and, in her youth, won several medals with her Collie dog, Jill, for obedience. She was also a keen gardener and became an expert in growing and tending to flowers. 

Her other interests included looking after her grandchildren when they were younger, knitting, tapestry, cooking, reading, and painting. 

Her sons said one of her proudest accomplishments was seeing her husband’s photo in the Eastern Daily Press for the topping out ceremony of Norwich City Hall. He was part of the team that completed the rebuild. 

Other memories that she considered highlights of her life included watching her sons parading as part of St John’s Ambulance at St Andrews Hall, Norwich, watching Brian’s passing out ceremony as a Royal Marine Commando, and seeing her sons get married. 

They added: “She was also over the moon when Kerin gave her two grandchildren. 

“She will be sadly missed by those who loved and knew her.” 

Mrs Westgate died on January 4 at North Walsham Grange Nursing Home. She leaves behind two sons, and a brother and sister. 

Her funeral will take place on January 28 at 11am at Witard Road Baptist Church, Norwich, followed by a cremation at St Faith's Crematorium.

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