FRIENDS and family paid a heartfelt farewell to popular Kaye Franklin at Kingsdown Crematorium. Kaye died suddenly following a stroke last month.

Mourners filed into the chapel accompanied by George Harrison's My Sweet Lord to celebrate the life of Kaye, 75, of Farriers Close on Friday.

Punctuated with music from composer Philip Glass, poetry from AE Houseman and Mack and Mabel's I Won't Send Roses, the service paid tender tribute to the volunteer, who spent many years working tirelessly to support organisations across the town including Age Concern, Swindon MIND, Home Start and Mediation.

During the ceremony, those gathered heard how Kaye was a witty and lively child, who first got involved with charity work because she felt so lucky, and wanted to help those less fortunate.

She was also fondly remembered for her quirk of enjoying housework, with the celebrant recalling the phrase 'she was always riding around on the back of a vacuum cleaner'.

Kaye was also remembered for her love of the arts, and as one of the first and most avid supporters of the annual Swindon Festival of Literature.

"I think she is remarkable," said husband Graeme, 79, before the funeral.

"I wasn't heavily involved in the organisations she volunteered for, aside from driving her to places. I supported her all the way in everything that she did.

"I will miss just about everything about her. She had great organisational skills and looked after the house as well as doing everything she did."

In 2011 the mum-of-three received her highest honour in recognition of her charity work, being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

"She got involved after the children were grown," said Graeme.

"She wanted something to do and to give back to the community, so she went along to the Volunteers Centre to ask if there was anything she could do.

"All her life she wanted to help people.

"Several of the organisations in Swindon which she volunteered for got together and put her forward to be nominated for an MBE, and she was invited to Windsor Castle to receive it from the Princess Royal.

"Several year's before that we were also invited to Buckingham Palace to attend the Queen's Garden Party."

She leaves behind her husband, three sons and grandchildren.