TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Gazette paper distributor who died aged 94.

Joan Dobson was the first Evening Gazette distributor in Tiptree when the paper first went to print in 1970.

Daughter Valerie said: "She soon became known around the village, and she always made time for a chat with the locals.

"She worked in Don Tyler Opticians and in her later years even though into her eighties, she worked as a volunteer at the Age Concern in Church Road."

Mrs Dobson had five children, ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

A funeral for Mrs Dobson was held at All Saints Church Messing with 130 mourners paying their respects.

Candles were lit by her grandchildren Ricky, Carla, Becky and Ben during the reading of the poem ‘the four candles’.

Valerie added: "Five doves, one for each child, were released at the committal to signify the parting of her spirit.

"Mum would have been so pleased that so many people attended to pay their respects, it’s very moving.

"Mum was my life for so many years, I feel empty inside and my heart aches for her.

"We would like to thank everybody for their kind words of sympathy, beautiful floral tributes and donations."