Hundreds attend funeral of popular Herriard woman

Jenny Dunford

Jenny Dunford

First published in Basingstoke by , Senior Reporter

HUNDREDS of people turned out to say farewell, and pay tribute, to a popular woman who ran an Odiham café.

Jenny Dunford ran the Buskers restaurant at The Haymarket, in Wote Street, Basingstoke, during the 1980s and 1990s, before leaving to manage Fountains Coffee Shop, in Odiham.

She passed away in her sleep at her home in Herriard on July 9, at the age of 80.

Born in Kingsclere on October 28, 1933, Mrs Dunford met her future husband Richard at a meeting of the Basingstoke Young Conservatives.

After marrying at St Mary’s Church, Herriard, in 1954, they had three daughters – Louise, Lizzie and Kate.

Mrs Dunford had a keen interest in cooking and set up her own catering firm in 1976, having worked in a farm shop in Bramley.

In the mid-1980s, she ran the Buskers restaurant at The Haymarket, serving her home-cooked food to theatre-goers, as well as serving drinks and snacks at the interval.

She left when the theatre underwent a major refurbishment in 1993 and moved on to run Fountains Coffee Shop, in Fountains Mall, Odiham.

Outside of work, Mrs Dunford was a lifelong member of the Women’s Institute, and was recently chairman of the Herriard and Lasham with Bentworth group.

She was a strong supporter of the RadCan charity and also held an annual charity day at her farm to raise money for good causes.

More than 350 people attended her funeral at St Mary’s Church, and the mourners donated more than £4,000 for Basingstoke Young Carers, RadCan, the church and Organic Blooms, a social enterprise firm based near Bristol.

Her daughter Louise Bennett read the eulogy, which ended: “Mum died in her sleep, in her own bed, in the middle of a glorious English summer in a house she loved and where she had lived for nearly 60 years, surrounded by a healthy, united family in a community and with friends she loved and who loved her.”

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