A MUCH-LOVED grandmother who was working in her long-established shop right until she was 93 has passed away.
Edna Jones lost her brave three-year battle with dementia at the Admiral Court Nursing Home, in Hartlepool.
She was just two weeks short of her 96th birthday when she died on October 10.
Mrs Jones, who opened up the Edna Jones shop in the town’s Catcote Road in 1960, carried on working there right until she was well enough.
Her daughter Eileen Radcliffe said: “It was the shop that kept her going. “I used to say to her ‘why don’t you sell the shop, mum?
“She would say ‘what would I do with my time?’, because she had always ran the shop.”
Mrs Jones ran the drapery shop, which sells wool and women’s clothes , with three part-time staff and it also has a hairdresser’s at the back, with two members of staff.
Eileen, 62, who lives in Nottingham with husband Graeme, 62, who founded a company that diagnoses cancer in dogs, added: “She was well-loved by her customers, it was quite a social place and all the ladies would get their hair done.”
Barbara Alton, who has worked in the hairdresser’s for 37 years, wrote a tribute to Mrs Jones, which said: “Remembering 37 years of working memories, many happy, many sad.
“None as sad as today after losing a brilliant lady, boss and friend.”
Eileen described her mother as “very glamorous”, with a real love of clothes and shoes.
She added: “She was a very giving person, very hard-working, but not domesticated – she couldn’t stand cooking.”
Mrs Jones, who loved dancing and playing whist until recent years, was born to Alf and Ada Steele in Charles Street, near Lynn Street.
The former Hartlepool High School for Girls pupil, who lived in Westbrooke Avenue before moving into the home, worked in the town’s match factory from being 15 but left when the Second World War broke out. She joined the women’s branch of the Army, the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and married the now late Granville Jones, a British Steel engineer, in 1941.
After the war, Mrs Jones opened up a shop selling baby linen and children’s clothes in the market in Lynn Street, where her mother Ada ran a stall selling women’s overalls and Mrs Jones’ brother Alf had a toy stall.
The market closed in the early 1960s, after Mrs Jones bought the Catcote Road shop and branched out to sell women’s underwear and corsetry and later opened up the hairdresser’s.
Mrs Jones’ family say the shop is going to be kept open and they are hoping to expand by selling the products online.
“The legacy will live on,” said retired teacher Eileen, who is mum to Dominic, 25, who works in the music industry in London.
“I think my mum would be really pleased to know that.
“It would be a shame to close it down because it’s an icon really, it’s been there for so long.”
Mrs Jones’ funeral will be held tomorrow at All Saints’ Church, Stranton, at 11.15am.