Generous villagers have been thanked for rallying around to support a popular pensioner’s funeral.
Tom Sweeney, 77, was well-known in West Winch for his kindness in helping his neighbours and would be seen trudging out in all weathers to pick up people’s papers.
But when he died leaving a modest estate, the village came together to ensure Mr Sweeney had a good send-off.
The West Winch Royal British Legion and the William Burt Social Club Committee came together to put on a wake for Mr Sweeney, who had served in the Royal Navy.
His brother Jim and sister-in-law Beryl have now thanked the villagers for their generosity.
Mr Sweeney, who lives in Cumbria, said: “We can’t praise them enough.
“The turn-out for Tom was outstanding and it was a beautiful service.
“We cried at the response from the village.
“A lot of people there are facing their own problems but were still prepared to help another.
“In West Winch, people have kindness and generosity, I have never known a place like it.
“The kindness they have shown is fantastic and we salute them.”
The Sweeney family had moved to Burnham Market from London in 1947 and went on to live in Heacham.
Mr Sweeney, a bachelor, decided to follow his brother into the Royal Navy after being called-up for national service. But he enjoyed life on the seas and decided to extend his service.
He went on to become a London bus driver but returned to West Norfolk to care for his parents Elsie and Thomas, who were suffering from ill health.
Mr Sweeney went on to work at Coopers and made his home in West Winch.
He was a regular face at the William Burt Social Club and enjoyed playing dominoes and cribbage.
His brother said: “Tom loved the William Burt Social Club where he was on the door. He did the job with diligence and pride.”
Mr Sweeney died on September 4 at the Lower Farm Nursing Home, in South Wootton.
A funeral service was held at Mintlyn Crematorium when Mr Sweeney was honoured with a guard of honour by the members of the Royal British Legion.
The branch also paid for the refreshments at the wake and the social club provided the room.
Branch vice-president and standard bearer John Moran said: “Tom was such a character. The village will miss him.”