A funeral for colourful Grantham character Ronnie Ward has not yet taken place – even though he died seven months ago.
Ronnie was found dead at his home in Riverside in June last year by police, after people close to him became concerned that they had not seen him for some time. He had died several days earlier.
Although Ronnie’s niece, Tina Barrett, told the Journal at the time that she would be organising a ‘colourful funeral’ for her uncle, his body is believed to still be in the morgue at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
He leaves three sisters and a number of nieces and nephews.
South Kesteven District Council has now stepped in and is seeking consent from Ronnie’s family to arrange his funeral.
A spokesman told the Journal: “We have recently been informed that no funeral arrangements have been made for Mr Ward to date. Therefore, we have contacted the family to gain the consent to make these arrangements.”
Local authorities organise funerals in some circumstances, such as when the person has insufficient property or funds, or no living family to make the arrangements.
SKDC has confirmed it will be a simple cremation funeral but was unable to specify the cost.
Ronnie was a well-known character, often seen walking through town wearing a multi-coloured Mohican hat and sunglasses.
He was well-loved by neighbours in Riverside, in particular Kath Gadd.
She told the Journal this week that she was so upset by Ronnie not having had a funeral that she had been considering using savings collected to take residents of Riverside – a sheltered housing complex – on day trips. But she said: “That would’ve taken all the money we had for the old folk.
“Ronnie deserves a proper funeral. He was always trying to make people laugh and he loved his life.
“It’s so sad that it’s come to this – his funeral should have happened months ago.”
The Journal has been unable to make contact with Ronnie’s family for comment.