A memorial plaque to remember colourful Grantham character Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Ward has been installed at Grantham Crematorium.
The 4.25-inch x 2.87-inch plaque was placed on a granite book near the chapel on Wednesday, made possible thanks to kind donations made by Journal readers and Morrisons shoppers.
It will be a lasting tribute to Ronnie, who died at his Riverside home in Grantham in June 2016 at the age of 69. He went on to have a local authority-funded funeral some months later, paid for by the district council, after surviving relatives failed to hold a funeral for him. The service was attended by around 30 well-wishers wearing bright clothing or headwear, in tribute to Ronnie who was often be seen strolling through the town centre wearing multi-coloured mohican headwear and bright ties.
The Journal went on to launch a fund-raising appeal to pay for a memorial plaque, as a state-funded cremation does not allow for any lasting tribute. In total, helped by a collection at Morrisons, £702 was raised.
The plaque reads: “In memory of Ronald ‘Ronnie’ William Ward, 1946-2016. Fondly remembered by Grantham people.”
Speaking after the plaque was installed, Tracey Nicholls, people manager at Morrisons, said: “It makes me quite proud and pleased that we have helped the community give something back for one of the most popular people in our community in Grantham.
“Ronnie was in Morrisons every day and everybody knew him and loved him.”
Journal editor Marie Bond added: “Readers really got behind our fund-raising appeal and it is thanks to them that this lasting memorial to Ronnie is possible. He was a familiar face around town and his bright appearance and personality put a smile on people’s faces.”