Open verdict in inquest into death of Grantham man Ronnie Ward

Ronnie Ward. Photo: Sarah Harvey
Ronnie Ward. Photo: Sarah Harvey
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An inquest has been held into the death of well-known Grantham man Ronnie Ward, 69, who died in June last year.

Police were alerted after Ronnie, full name Ronald William Ward, had not been seen for two weeks. He was found dead at his home in Riverside.

It was Pc Pete Nettleton, of Lincolnshire Police, who entered the flat and found his body.

The inquest was held yesterday (Wednesday) at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre, by assistant coroner for South Lincolnshire Marianne Johnson.

Although she confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Ronnie’s death, an open verdict was recorded.

The Journal launched an appeal last week to secure a lasting memorial to Ronnie – easily recognisable by his multi-coloured Mohican-style headwear – whose funeral will take place next week.

It comes as South Kesteven Ditrict Council is arranging a simple funeral. However, as it is funded by the taxpayer, the service the local authority will provide is a simple cremation and does not allow for any lasting tribute.

We hope to raise enough money to pay for either a 10.5cm x 7cm bronze plaque on the granite book by Grantham Crematorium Chapel, at a cost of £702, or a dedicated rose bush and plaque for Ronnie, which would cost £2,476.

Anyone who wishes to contribute is asked to visit our JustGiving page. Cash donations can also be made at the Journal office, in St Peter’s House, St Peter’s Hill. Any donations received over £2,476 will go to the Salvation Army in Grantham.

The appeal has so far raised £330, through donations and a collection at Morrisons.

A funeral service will take place at the crematorium chapel tomorrow (Friday) at 9am. Arrangements are being made by Robert Holland Funeral Directors.

Funeral manager Andy Clark said everyone is welcome – and they are urged to wear bright, colourful clothing in tribute to Ronnie. He added: “Robert [Holland] is taking the funeral service. He knew Ronnie and classes it as an honour to take it for him.

“He met Ronnie on a number of occasions and said he brightened everyone’s lives.

“The service will be a celebration of his life and everyone is welcome.”

Meanwhile, a kind donation by Sue Hodgson, of Flowers by Holland, will see that Ronnie’s coffin is not bare. Sue will make a floral arrangement to resemble his Mohican hat, in all the same colours.

* To make a contribution towards a lasting tribute to Ronnie, please visit our JustGiving page.