Tributes to a community stalwart who passed away on Monday night flooded in from a range of family, friends and colleagues, but the message was exactly the same - her loss has left ‘a massive hole’.
Ann Kerr died at a hospice in Ipswich earlier this week.
A resident of Stradbroke for 27 years, Mrs Kerr served as either parish council chairman or vice-chairman for more than a decade, and as a member of the Save Suffolk Libraries campaign, played a key role in the village’s retention of its library.
A former education worker, Mrs Kerr was also a governor at Stradbroke’s high school and primary school.
Mrs Kerr, 69, was married to Bob for 52 years, and the couple have one son, Matthew.
A statement from the family said: “Ann passed away peacefully on January 7 at St Elizabeth Hospice with her loved ones at her side after a year-long battle with cancer.
“We would like to mention the wonderful work of the hospice who cared for Ann and the family in her final weeks.”
Carol Smy, Stradbroke Parish Clerk, had known Mrs Kerr since 2006.
She said: “Ann had become a friend to me. She was a woman of great integrity.
“She was very sharp, she was caring, and I had an immense respect for her. She fought her illness all the way: she was quite a fighter.
“We had a great deal of fun working together, and she was a fantastic colleague. Her loss has left a major hole.”
Mrs Kerr joined the parish council in 1991.
She served as chairman from May 2005 until April 2012, and as vice-chairman from May 2000 to April 2005.
She resumed the latter role again from May 2012 until the time of her death.
James Hargrave knew Mrs Kerr through his role as the chair of governors at Stradbroke Primary School, from his time on the parish council, and as someone who fought to prevent the closure of the village’s library with Mrs Kerr.
He told the Diss Express: “The school is really sad. She has left a massive hole. Ann wore so many hats, but wore them so well.
“She was great to work with: one of those people who had a great attention to detail, but was also just a really great person to go for a drink with. We are all going to miss her very much”
A tribute page has been set-up in Ann’s memory for donations to the hospice: