Stevenage widow’s delight as companies rally round Comet appeal to mark her late husband’s grave

Amanda Cole, from Instone Memorials, Claire Austin, from Austins, June Dodd and Tricia Brown, from E

Amanda Cole, from Instone Memorials, Claire Austin, from Austins, June Dodd and Tricia Brown, from E H Crouch, stood with the cross which was donated for June's husband at Weston Road Cemtery in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

A widow was overcome with emotion when she heard that generous companies had donated a cross and flowers to mark her husband’s grave.

June Dodd stopped working for months to care for her David at their house in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, after he was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer.

She was so broke when he died last June that she had to borrow money to pay for his funeral and couldn’t afford even a simple wooden cross to mark his grave.

Her story was featured in the Comet last week and since then several firms have got in touch to lend their support.

Austin’s Funeral Directors and Instone Memorials teamed up to engrave and place a wooden cross on David’s grave in Weston Road Cemetery.


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“I can’t believe how generous they have been,” June, a 39-year-old care worker, said.

“I felt like crying when I found out that David’s grave was finally going to be marked and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated.”

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The firms are both members of the Stevenage Old Town Business and Community Partnership and donated the cross as part of the work it does to help people living in the area.

Managing director of Austin’s, Claire Austin, said: “When we saw June’s story we wanted to do something to help.

“We are happy to provide the cross and hope it will give her some peace of mind.”

June met with the firms at the cross on Wednesday to see the transformation.

She said: “It was amazing. He would have been so happy to see it.”

Amanda Cole, a partner at Instone Memorials, said: “We heard about the story and felt we could help so we worked together with Austin’s to help June at a difficult time.”

E.H Crouch Funeral Directors has branches in Stevenage, Letchworth, Baldock and Stotfold and donated flowers to mark David’s grave.

Tricia Brown, a funeral operator and arranger at the firm, said: “It is a lovely cause to support. Nobody’s grave deserves to be unmarked so we decided to do something to help.”

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