Obituary: Mary Horner 1942 - 2018

9 July 2018
Mary Horner

Mary Horner 1942 - 2018

Mary Horner, who died aged 74 this month at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, was a founder member of The Romany and Traveller Family History Society and the national Romany Organisation for Cultural and Creative Arts (ROCCA) - a play on the word rokkering. She was a regular contributor to the annual Romany history days and for many years edited Romany Road journal, a rich fund of first hand stories from the Travelling community.

Mary was born in 1942 to the Hearn family in Chiswick. Her father, John Hearn ,“the handsomest man you ever saw,” served on bomb disposal during World War 2. Her Mum, as she recalled was "related to the Loughmans, Higginsons, Bridges and Vaughans of Hereford”. And it was to the county, and the village of Credenhill, that she moved with husband Brian to be close to her grandchildren. This followed a career in the NHS and a spell as secretary to Marcus Sieff, chairman of Marks & Spencer.

In Hereford she dedicated herself to family and her Romany roots. Friend Chris Baltrop says: “Everyone who knew Mary will say the same; a generous and gentle person, with an iron resolve. She was proud of her Romany heritage and always happy to guide others to their rightful place in the huge and rambling Gypsy family tree".

Mary leaves children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Her funeral will be at Hereford Crematorium on July 19 at 3.00pm