Great-granny skydives with a sunflower

Great-grandmother Margaret Fensome who is skydiving with a sunflower
Great-grandmother Margaret Fensome who is skydiving with a sunflower

Luton great-granny Margaret Fensome, 73, is terrified of heights.

But when she takes part in a charity skydive next month in aid of Keech Hospice Care, she’ll be clutching a sunflower to her bosom.

It was her late husband Tony’s favourite flower and she intends to throw it to the heavens in his memory.

“I reckon I’m in a win-win situation,” she said. “If the ‘chute doesn’t open, I’ll be up there with him. And if it does, I’ll tell him I’ve proved him wrong – because he always said I’d never do it.”

The couple were planning to jump together but sadly Tony died in 2009 before it could be organised.

Margaret, of Wigmore Lane, said: “I get dizzy when I look at the bottom of the stairs.

“But I’m looking forward to it because I want to give something back to Keech for what they did for my Tony.

“He never wanted to go there initially. He said: ‘It’s where people go to die and I’m not ready yet.’

“But from the first day he went, he loved it. He told me: ‘People don’t go there to die, they go there to live.’

“I couldn’t believe the difference it made to him, he had his old glow back and the smile was on his face.”

She added: “Lots of people in Luton don’t even know what Keech does, they think it’s government funded.

“They don’t know that £35 can keep a family there overnight to be with their loved ones while they’re dying.”

Tony, an airport fireman, was Margaret’s second husband and the love of her life.

She recalled: “He was a lovely gentle man with an air of quietness about him. He had a look of John Wayne and when I was a child I really believed I was going to marry John Wayne.”

The couple had two children together – a daughter Gillian and a son Anthony – and Margaret has two sons, Gary and Philip, from her previous marriage.

“We had a good life together,” she said. “I still miss him so much.

“He was such a wonderful father to all the children. We went to live in Marsh Farm and then we bought our own house in Stospley.”

Tony was diagnosed with a brain tumour 10 years before he died. He then developed prostate cancer and died of a bleed to the brain. Margaret, who’s survived breast cancer herself, volunteered for Hospice at Home as part of her mission to give something back.

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