MOURNERS will pay their respects on Monday to a lifelong Lakes resident who has died, aged 106.

They will gather for a funeral service at Finsthwaite Church where Mabel Walker will be fondly remembered by family and friends. Mrs Walker was born on September 20, 1912 at The Knoll, Lakeside, near Newby Bridge, which was built by her maternal grandfather, James Dacre. 

Mr Walker’s parents were William and Eleanor Kellett. Her father was a boat builder, who also hired out the rowing boats at Lakeside during the summer months. She had two brothers and a sister. Before she married, she ran the family shop at Lakeside and later helped in her brother’s “Cherry Tree” cafe in the village.

In 1937 she married William ‘Bill’ McGarr, who worked on the steamers at Lakeside. He wanted to join the Navy during the Second World War, but instead was conscripted to work at the steelworks in Barrow.

Their home was affected by the bombing and she returned to live, together with her son, Neil, at her parents’ home in Lakeside. After the war, her husband became captain of the Windermere steamer Teal.
The couple had three children, Neil, Terry and Julie. The family led a simple life, with no car, and relied on deliveries from tradesmen who sold their wares from vans.

Mrs Walker was an active member of the Finsthwaite and Staveley Women’s Institute. She enjoyed sewing and made her children’s clothes. She was also seamstress and pianist for “The Dinky Dots” singing and dancing troupe, who entertained at village halls around the area in the late 1940s and ‘50s.

Mrs Walker and her husband were keen gardeners and enthusiastic ballroom dancers. They attended regular dances at the Lakeside Institute. Her husband died in 1976 and 12 years later, aged 75, she married John Walker, who had farmed at Cunsey. They travelled together to whist drives around the area until his death in 1990.

She then moved to sheltered accommodation at Alexandra Court, Windermere, where she spent much of her time baking and selling her products to other residents donating the proceeds to St Mary’s Hospital, Ulverston.

Just before achieving the age of 100, Mrs Walker lost her sight and went to live at the Twin Oaks Retirement Home, Windermere, where she died.