John dies of 'broken heart' hours after wife Kath
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 January 2011
A GRIEVING Weston family has told how their father died 'of a broken heart' - just hours after his wife of more than 50 years lost her two-year battle with cancer.
John and Kath Snelling died at the Mead Vale home they shared just hours before the New Year.
Kath, aged 75, died peacefully in her bed on the morning of December 30, succumbing to the ovarian cancer she had defied for the past two years.
And her husband of 53 years, 78-year-old John, died of a brain haemorrhage 16 hours later – with family members blaming his death on heartbreak at the loss of his soul mate.
Son Jeremy, aged 47, and daughter Tina, aged 45, told the Mercury the well-known couple – who are also grandparents to five youngsters aged six to 19 – would be fondly remembered.
They said: “Dad loved a joke, and was never someone who seemed his age, he always seemed to be about 50 years younger.
“Mum was always taking in clothes for mending, she always dressed very glamorously, and was a huge help to us with our children.
“We had a fantastic childhood, and they were the same with the grandchildren. They took us everywhere, to beaches and on trips.
“They didn’t believe in television for the children, and always brought them up to speak properly – especially pronouncing the Ts in Harry Potter.”
The Snellings were well known around Weston, having grown up in the area and gone on to run shops in Ashcombe Road and Milton Road.
John also worked as a teacher at Baytree School, and was heavily involved with Woodspring Indoor Bowls Club, Ashcombe Bowls Club, local badminton and tennis circles, and the Admirals and 49ers skittles teams.
Kath worked in school meals, then at Clarks and Bristol Oilskins, was a keen skittler with the Pin-ups, and was a regular fund-raiser on behalf of Barnardo’s and Diabetes UK.
Jeremy and Tina, who celebrated Christmas Day – which was also Kath’s birthday – with their parents, said both had been ‘active until the end’.
They added: “Mum made the decision to spend her last days at home, rather than in a hospital, and they looked after each other. We don’t think dad would have wanted to go on living without her.”