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Newbury couple married for 72 years die on the same day

'Either would have been lost without the other'

Newbury couple married for 72 years die on the same day

“They lived, loved, travelled and died together.”

Newbury couple John and Betty Ferryman had been an item for more than 75 years and were due to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary in April.

But Mr and Mrs Ferryman, aged 93 and 96, both died from heart attacks on the same day at their family home earlier this month.

Their son, Bob Ferryman, told the Newbury Weekly News: “It was the kindest thing because either would have been lost without the other.”

Mr and Mrs Ferryman’s love first blossomed during the Second World War after Mrs Ferryman was evacuated to Newbury from Folkestone in Kent.

The couple met at Plenty’s engineering works in Hambridge Road, but their time together was brief as Mr Ferryman went off to sea as an engineering officer with the Merchant Navy.

But as the war drew to a close, Mr and Mrs Ferryman tied the knot on April 2, 1945, and spent the next 72 years as husband and wife. 

“I have been really lucky to have had them together all these years,” Mr Ferryman said. “The three of us were a close-knit family.”

After the war, Mrs Ferryman worked as a council rent collector and also helped to run Royal Air Force Association bingo nights in the town.

After completing his engineering apprenticeship with the Merchant Navy, Mr Ferryman worked as a senior mechanical engineer at Reed Boardworks at Colthrop Mill.

He also participated in competitive rifle shooting.

“He was active and liked making things,” their son Mr Ferryman said.

“He was very much hands-on being an engineer.

“He always thought he was lucky to have gone through the war unscathed.”

The couple loved to travel and were keen caravaners, still heading over to the continent when they were in their 80s.

The couple leave their son Bob, who volunteers as a Handybus driver for the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire and would take his parents to Newbury Blind Club meetings.

Mr Ferryman said: “John and Betty were a couple with a traditional outlook on life, from an era when home technology meant listening to your Ekco wireless set.

“They lived, loved, travelled and died together after a partnership of over 75 years and will be sorely missed by friends and family alike.”

The funeral service will be held at the West Berkshire Crematorium today (Tuesday, February 28) at noon.

Family flowers only or donations may be sent to Newbury Blind Club care of Geoffrey Church & Co funeral directors in Thatcham Broadway. 

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Article comments

  • paulGT11

    28/02/2017 - 12:12

    It is always sad to lose a parent, but losing both on the same day must be very tough for their family. It is a consolation i guess that neither was left behind to cope with the loss after so long together. My thoughts with the family.