Tireless Cancer Research fundraiser dies, age 84

A TIRELESS fundraiser who gave more than 35 years’ service to the Salisbury committee of Cancer Research UK has died at the age of 84.

Mary Cole, from Wilton, died on April 4 and is fondly remembered for her loyalty and dedication to the causes she supported.

Mrs Cole worked at UKLF in Wilton as a brigadier’s secretary before taking up a post at CBD Porton Down, now Dstl, as secretary to the director.

She became office manager for the typing pool until her retirement in 1995.

During her years at Porton Down she organised raffles, sales and silent auctions to raise money for Cancer Research UK as well as Children in Need.

Mrs Cole joined the Cancer Research Campaign – which later became Cancer Research UK - in Salisbury and went on to become vice-chairman.

She also served in many other committee posts during her time with the charity, and even when she was in poor health she continued to support its work.

The Salisbury committee has been running for more than 55 years and has raised more than £1.5m for the charity.

Mrs Cole started a lunch club at the Grasmere Hotel in Harnham, which became a regular meeting place for retired women from Porton Down. The group is regularly attended by women who enjoy lunch and companionship and it will hold a celebration of Mrs Cole’s life planned for May 8.

Mrs Cole was also an active member of the Universities of the Third Age (U3A) and ran coffee mornings held at the U3A’s meetings in St Francis Church, Castle Road.

She was also the leader for the current affairs group.

Her friends and family describe Mrs Cole as being a “lady in every sense of the word” who was known for her “fairness, grace, loyalty and sense of humour”.

“She enriched so many lives and leaves us with her gifts of wonderful memories, peace and tranquillity. We are blessed to have known her,” they said.

Mrs Cole’s funeral will take place at Salisbury Crematorium on Thursday at 12.15pm.

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