Friends, family and colleagues of Susan ‘Sue’ Medcraft paid a touching farewell to the popular Bury St Edmunds PCSO this afternoon.
Nights In White Satin played as mourners followed the 55-year-old’s coffin into West Suffolk Crematorium, which was so full that many had to stand for the ceremony.
Civil funeral celebrant Jo Donlevy described Sue as ‘a devoted wife to the late Brian, a dearly loved sister to Chris, Linda and the late Barry, half sister to Pat, Carol’s mum, a sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunty, great-aunty, colleague, neighbour and, of course, good friend to so many people’.
She said Sue was ‘a lovely lady with a kind heart and a great sense of humour’ and ‘had a beautiful smile that could light up a room and a contagious laugh that could brighten any situation’.
She said Sue’s death on May 14, days before her husband’s funeral, had come as ‘a terrible shock to all’.
She added: “You may be left with questions to which you will never know the answers and you may be feeling that she made that decision to leave you all too soon, when there was still so much for her to live for.
“We must remember that usually the what if questions we’re tempted to ask of life really have no answers. But, torturing ourselves with the thought that we could have changed certain factors, fails to recognise that there are some things in life we simply cannot control.
“So today, let’s not dwell too much on your sharpened sadness at Sue’s death, but rather let’s use this day to celebrate her life, to pay tribute to her and to record some of the things about her that made her so special to you all.”
Memories recalled included Sue tying up her neighbour whilst playing Cowboys and Indians at age 10, her disappointment at learning the builder wolf-whistling at her as she brought her father lunch was in fact him and her old dog Cindy, who she ‘would walk for miles’.
Despite having other jobs, including as an operator at the telephone exchange in Whiting Street, and, at one time, wanting to be a prison officer, Sue found her niche when she was accepted as a PCSO with Suffolk Police in 2007.
She trained at Martlesham and served Bury’s Mildenhall Road and Howard Estates until she joined the Bury central SNT at The Vinefields last year.
Ms Donlevy said: “She put her heart and soul into her job, going over and above the call of duty. In fact, she was never really off duty and carried a notebook in her handbag.”
She described how Sue and Brian met, ‘hitting it off immediately’, and how Sue had devoted herself to Brian, nursing him through an illness from which he died on April 29.
She said: “When he died, she simply couldn’t bear life without him. They had been everything to each other, best friends, soul mates and totally inseparable. Sue’s actions have devastated her family and there are so many things they will all miss.”
She added: “She was a lady who made her presence felt and the absence of her presence will be felt just as deeply.”
Sue and Brian’s ashes will be scattered in North Wales, where the couple were wed and where Sue considered to be her spiritual home.
During the ceremony, poems Not How Did She Die, But How Did She Live and When We Remember were read, as well as tributes to Sue. Endless Love was played during a time of silent reflection and Sue’s colleague and close friend Jon Warby gave a moving speech.
The funeral was brought to an emotional end with the playing of Tra Bo Dau, which was also played at Sue and Brian’s wedding and at Brian’s recent funeral.
Afterwards, guests were invited to join Sue’s family at The Woolpack, in Fornham St Martin, for refreshments and to share their memories of Sue.
Donations made in memory of Sue are to be shared between Kidney Research UK and St Nicholas Hospice Care.
by Laura Smith