Firefighters form guard of honour at funeral of community volunteer Marian Bunker

Reporter:

James Hockaday

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About 150 people attended a church service on Friday for a much-loved community volunteer from Burnham who died at home over Christmas after a battle with cancer.

Marian Bunker, who moved to the village in 1977, was hugely popular in the community, having served as a scout leader for 30 years and having worked at Slough Fire Station for 23 years.

Firefighters formed a guard of honour as the funeral procession passed the station on its way to Chilterns Crematorium, in Whielden Lane.

The mother-of-two, originally from Tower Hamlets in London, was chairman of the Burnham Community Association (BCA) between 2003 and 2014, having joined in 1991.

Marian, 69, who lived in Lent Green Lane with her 70-year-old husband Peter, took a leading role in the BCA’s charitable activities including masterminding the annual Burnham Carnival.

One of Marian’s proudest achievements was running Burnham’s Monday Club which gave elderly residents the chance to meet, socialise and play bingo.

The grandmother-of-three arranged a monthly lunch, a summer outing and Christmas for members, many of whom would be isolated without the club.

Marian was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2014 but continued to be involved with the Monday Club until shortly before she died on Friday, December 23.

She received the Pride of Bucks award in 2014.

Peter, her husband of 48 years, said she had a ‘lovely and friendly disposition’.

“Since Marian’s death I’ve been overwhelmed at the tributes we’ve received by post, email, and on social media attesting to her kindness,” he said.

“I suppose I could have expected as much but I was unprepared for the depth of it. Because she wore her sunny disposition, at least in public, until the end, and because she had the extraordinary knack of looking well even when she wasn’t I think there is a degree of shock around the village at her passing.

“She seems to have touched so many lives.”

BCA transport co-ordinator Tom Scharff said: “She was a kind of person that would do anything for anybody. She always wanted to help, even if she was not feeling well.”

“It’s a testament to her popularity that so many people attended the service.”

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