Couple, 101 and 97, Laid to Rest in A Shared Funeral After Passing Away Just Days Apart

A married couple, Frances Chandler, 101, and her husband Bernard, 97, who were together for 75 years, will have a joint funeral after passing away within days of each other. Frances died on November 6, and Bernard followed three weeks later on November 29. The family has decided to bury them together in the same ceremony, allowing them to stay together even in death.

Frances and Bernard’s remarkable lives were remembered by their five children, ten grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren during their joint funeral on December 19, 2023.

Their daughter, Pat McDougall, shared with the Bristol Post, “It’s quite unique. The funeral director said they get a double funeral maybe once a year.”

She added, “It’s nice now that they’re together. When dad died, we had already arranged mum’s funeral, but then had to change plans to keep them together, so we kind of felt like we were keeping her waiting – but obviously, she knew dad was coming, didn’t she?”

“They’re dancing together again, and ironically, they used to watch Strictly Come Dancing – and it just so happens that the final was this weekend – perhaps they were looking down on that.”

Pat added: “My dad comes from Fulham and he always used to say ‘I’m not a cockney, I’m a Londoner’, so we’re having ‘Maybe it’s Because I’m a Londoner’ played, as well as ‘Underneath the Arches’, which they used to sing. And we’re walking him in to ‘The Lambeth Walk’, because he liked that. We’re having ‘Smile’ for mum as she walks in, because she always said ‘I don’t want you to cry’ – but I’m sure we will.”

“Then we’re having Frankie Vaughan – he was her idol years ago – and we’re having ‘The Green Door’ for her too. And then, at the end, they’re having ‘The Last Waltz’ and me and my siblings are going to stand around when they play it, so we can dance ‘The Last Waltz’ with them – they were both dancers and their life was dancing, really.”

The service included many nods to the couple’s years of dancing, featuring displayed photographs and placing their dance shoes on each casket alongside a red rose. Pat mentioned that although it was an incredibly sad time for the family, they found comfort in the fact that the couple had been ‘reunited’.

Frances, who resided in Stockwood, had received one of the last 100th birthday cards from the late Queen Elizabeth II before her passing in September 2022. Interestingly, the couple also received one of the first cards from the new King, Charles III, to celebrate their 75th anniversary. The family has preserved these cards as mementos of the remarkable, long lives of their beloved parents.

Share Your Thoughts:

What are your views on this story? Let us know in the comment section.

Source: Bristol Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.