BARBARA HAWKINS A woman who loved animals and liked lots of laughter

Friday 13th November 2009 12:00 am

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A WOMAN who loved life and laughter was fondly remembered at her funeral service held at Colebrooke Parish Church.

Barbara Hawkins was a country girl at heart. She was born at Penstone and never lived more than 20 miles from the place of her birth.

There were many loves of her life, not least her husband Michael, of almost 40 years, but also her many pet dogs.

She adored her "beautiful boys" as she described them, her last two being Cocker spaniels, Dougal and Jack.

Barbara (nee Keat), enjoyed taking part in quizzes, often at The Cross Hotel, Copplestone where, at one time, she was a barmaid. She enjoyed the pub life and played darts for The Cross team and one or two others.

Her main employment for more than 40 years was with the civil service where she undertook a variety of jobs, all of which she thoroughly enjoyed.

She wore high heels and loved her lipsticks, at one time owning more than 200 lipsticks!

Another favourite pastime was watching Formula One motor racing. She would have been pleased to see Jenson Button win the championship.

Barbara loved gardening and grew lots of Narcissi and Fuschias in her garden, as well as tending to her allotment in the village.

She is fondly remembered for planting and tending the wonderful flowers which surrounded the stone in Copplestone, just yards from her home at Porch Cottage.

Barbara was a former parish councillor and also helped with youth activities in the village.

More recently she volunteered one day a week at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Crediton.

She also enjoyed being part of Pennymoor Singaround and while she was not a musician, she provided a cabaret act at each session telling a variety of jokes.

At her funeral service, long-time friend, Jason Rice, gave an irreverent eulogy.

Jason explained: "Barbara was an amazing character who lived her entire life to the full. She was also one of my very best friends who I have known all my life.

"Barbara left instructions that I am to give an irreverent eulogy which she hopes will be met with laughter, as laughter was such a large part of her life."

He recalled many memorable situations and said he had been looking forward to seeing her growing old disgracefully, but sadly that was not to be.

He added: "I can only admire the brave way in which she dealt with her illness, always putting other people first, even though she knew that her own problems were far greater."

He said that, right to the end, she never lost her sense of humour.

Jason received a round of applause from the congregation for his heartfelt tribute.

The funeral service was led by Canon Michael Hall and also included a reading by Don Barker.

Barbara, who died aged just 65 years, leaves a beloved husband and her "boys".

Donations are being accepted, in memory of Barbara, for Cancer Research UK and The Cinnamon Trust, which rehomes pets when people die and they have no other home to go to.

Donations may be sent to: A White and Sons, Albert Road, Crediton EX17 2BZ.

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