Tributes to 'special people'
THE family of a golden-hearted Bradwell couple are planning a double funeral after they died together in a road accident on Easter Monday.David and Marjorie Smith, both aged 75, were killed when their silver Hyandai was involved in a collision as they travelled to Buntingford in Hertfordshire to visit their daughter.
THE family of a golden-hearted Bradwell couple are planning a double funeral after they died together in a road accident on Easter Monday.
David and Marjorie Smith, both aged 75, were killed when their silver Hyandai was involved in a collision as they travelled to Buntingford in Hertfordshire to visit their daughter.
The tragic suddenness of their deaths on the A14 near Newmarket has stunned the close-knit community who said the couple would be greatly missed.
At their home in Chestnut Avenue the outdoor shoes left neatly by the door and the garden chairs propped up against the table poignantly tell the story of the expectation of return.
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And neighbours this week spoke affectionately of a lovely couple, married for 54 years, who would do anything for anyone.
Mr Smith, a retired laboratory technician at the former Gorleston Grammar School, was described as being “very community minded” and heavily involved with St Andrew's Church, Gorleston.
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A former RAF man he remained a keen supporter of the armed services, attending local parades.
John Double, who has lived in the quiet street since 1960, said the first he knew of the tragedy was when police knocked on his door at around 6pm on Monday trying to trace their next of kin.
He was able to direct them to Mrs Smith's sister who lives nearby and also to give them the address of their daughter Daryll Davies in Buntingford.
Mr Double said his neighbour would do anything for anyone often picking up litter from the street and cleaning graffiti off the road sign. “I don't think anyone walked down the street without David talking to them,” he said.
Lisa Jensen, who lives in nearby Blake Close and whose parents Norma and Frank Vitkofsky live next door, said the couple had “hearts of gold.” Mr Smith, she said, would race round at the drop of a hat to help with Mr Vitkofsky, who has limited mobility and Alzheimer's diease.
“David would do anything that they needed. He was always there for them. Mum would knock at the door and he would come flying round. She is in a great deal of shock. They were very special people,” she said.
In a street where neighbours are on first name terms he would help with chores and gardening, sometimes leaving a crop of home-grown tomatoes on a doorstep.
Mrs Smith worked at the Shrublands Post Office for 42 years before retiring in 1995. She had a talent for making hand-crafted greetings cards and enjoyed cooking and puzzles.
Mr Smith was also involved in the memory club, helping people with Alzheimer's to reconnect with the past, and enjoyed cycling and walking, often joining in sporting activities with his two grandsons.
A statement issued by Suffolk Police said the family had been overwhelmed by tributes from neighbours and friends who spoke of the couple's kindness and helpfulness to all.
The accident happened at about 2.35pm at the Rowley Mile BP garage near Newmarket.
The silver Hyundai car left the Cambridge-bound carriageway and both were pronounced dead at the scene.
The stretch of road was closed for more than six hours while accident investigators studied the scene and the wreckage was cleared.
Diversions were put in place until 8.45pm and motorists suffered lengthy delays, with queues along the A14 and also the A11 southbound.
Police, paramedics and fire crews were called to the scene along with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The funeral will be at St Andrew's Church, Gorleston, at a date to be arranged.
Any witnesses to the collision should call PC Andrew Fossey on 01473 613500.