“MUM, we love you very much and will love you forever,” said the daughter of former Eastcott councillor Anne Baxter at her funeral yesterday.
All who knew Anne were left shell shocked last month when the former Liberal Democrat councillor died suddenly at the Great Western Hospital after a stroke.
Scores of mourners attended her funeral at St Peter’s Catholic Church in West Swindon to pay their final respects to a woman who spent her life fighting for the underdog.
The traditional Requiem Mass was led by Father Michael Saunders, who had known Anne since he first came to the parish.
He told the congregation: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw Anne. I had been in the parish for three days when I met her, and she told me that the mass was too quick and the sermon was too short. I’ve had several other people tell me the same thing since then but she was the first.
“Jesus speaks of bringing qualities of peace, gentleness and understanding into your everyday life, just as Anne did.
“And her work is well known. It’s in the media. It’s on the web. It’s in the news. But most especially it’s in our hearts and our memories.”
Other family members also paid tribute to Anne with readings and eulogies, including her daughter Helen, who spoke on behalf of herself and her brothers, Steve and Stuart.
Helen said: “She was the best mum anyone could wish for. As children she taught us right from wrong.
“She never shouted or screamed but gave all three of us unwavering love and support.
“Mum had a cup-half-full outlook on life. She never held a grudge and never thought ill of anybody.
“She loved being outside. She loved flowers.
“Her favourite colour was green and she loved everything about nature.
“She especially loved Coronation Street.
“We love you very much and will love you forever.”
But many mourners were moved to tears when Anne’s eldest grandson, Jack, spoke.
He said: “As the oldest and the most difficult of the grandchildren, Nana had a big part to play when I was growing up.
“I am so sorry to have lost such an important person in my life.”
Before Anne was taken away for a private committal at Kingsdown Crematorium, her family scattered the coffin with daffodils.
Anne leaves her husband, Ken, and her three children, Helen, Stephen and Stuart, her grandchildren Jack, Kyle, Lauren, Tom, Abi, Hannah and George and her great-grandchildren, Rosie and Mollie.