'It took a rota of people to replace her' - village volunteer dies aged 72

Much-loved village volunteer Rosie Hubbard has died aged 72.

Much-loved village volunteer Rosie Hubbard has died aged 72. - Credit: Peter Steward

Rosie Hubbard, who was well-known in the Hethersett community for her tireless volunteer work, has died aged 72.

St Remigius Church, Hethersett, was packed yesterday for a funeral service to Rosie who was described as “one in a million”, with traders standing outside their shops to pay their respect as the funeral cortege passed by.

She was born in Leicester on May 6, 1949, as one of two children, she was named after the Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald song and film Rose Marie, with her sister being named after Jeanette MacDonald.

Much-loved village volunteer Rosie Hubbard has died aged 72.

Much-loved village volunteer Rosie Hubbard has died aged 72. - Credit: Peter Steward

Her son Steven said: “It’s been incredibly easy to come up with the words to describe mum - loving, thoughtful and kind, generous, caring - all echoed by the dozens and dozens of cards and phone calls that have been sent through her illness.

“Mum was at her happiest when she was giving. Whenever she could do something for others she would, without any thought or want of anything in return. I think that typifies Mum’s unconditional love for her friends, neighbours and family."

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72. - Credit: Submitted


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As a child Rosie dreamed of becoming an air hostess but changed her mind and came to Norfolk to train as a teacher at Keswick Hall.

She taught locally until the arrival of son Steven in 1976 when she changed direction to become a carer in her adopted village of Hethersett, where she worked at Hethersett Hall Care Home and became a well-known figure for her regular bike rides around the village.

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In later life she worked hard by volunteering at Hethersett Parish Church and Hethersett Jubilee Youth Club, and supported many other village groups such as Hethersett Croquet Club and Hethersett Churches Together.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72. - Credit: Submitted

Former rector of Hethersett reverend Di Lammas, who took her funeral service alongside current rector reverend Derek McClean, said: “She was very popular, involved with many church activities, appearing in pantomimes and singing in the church choir. Early on Rosie decided she wanted to be a missionary - or an air hostess as she could speak both German and French.

“She was always happy helping others and always did more than was expected of her. If you wanted to see Rosie there were two good places to look – firstly around the village on her bike or more likely stopped and chatting to someone.

Rosie with her daughter-in-law Sarah, son Steven, granddaughters Libby and Millie and Sarah's mother Caroline.

Rosie with her daughter-in-law Sarah, son Steven, granddaughters Libby and Millie and Sarah's mother Caroline. - Credit: Peter Steward

“The other place to find her at any event was in the background – she’d be there to help set up, but more importantly she’d be the one staying to the end to wash up, clear up and tidy up. For years she cleaned the church building, but when she had to stop because of her illness it took a whole rota of people to replace her.

“She gave so much of her time and effort and her cash, though she was far from wealthy – not many knew that year by year she paid for all of the books that the church gave to pupils leaving the Middle, then the Junior school, or that she gave the crème eggs for the hunt each Easter, or that she’d hear of someone in need and an envelope would drop through their door. Even as she was about to go into the Hospice, Steve had to wait to drive her until she’d written a birthday card to her neighbour.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72. - Credit: Submitted

“We have so much for which to thank God in Rosie, a spiritually gifted Christian, a great friend and relative, and a devoted mother.”

Rosie’s sister Jeanette also paid tribute to her, she said: “My sister had a heart of gold, nothing was too much trouble for her.

"She helped and loved so many people.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72.

Well-known volunteer Rosie Hubbard who died aged 72. - Credit: Submitted

"She always put others first and material things did not matter to Rosie.

"I have so many wonderful memories of my lovely sister. Her kindness and thoughtfulness, her words of wisdom and advice. She will always be in my heart.”

Rosie leaves a son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren after her husband David died a number of years ago..

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