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Tributes paid to "industrious and loving" mother

22 Oct 2020

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to an “industrious and loving” mother who died after a collision in Huntingdon on Tuesday (20 October).

A white Volkswagen Passat collided with a woman cycling on Nursery Road, Huntingdon at just before 2.30pm.

Emergency services attended, but the cyclist, Celia Ward, 77, from St Margarets Road, Wyton, died at the scene.

The driver of the car was uninjured and remained at the scene.

A 46-year-old woman from Huntingdon was arrested yesterday (21 October) on suspicion of manslaughter but has since been released under investigation.

"Industrious and loving wife and mother" 

In a statement, Celia’s family said: “Celia was a 23-year-old, nurse, midwife and ward sister when she married David Ward - a chemistry graduate and newly trained RAF pilot on 19 August 1967. Their first years of a happy marriage were spent in Germany where daughter Jill was born.

“On returning to the UK, they settled in Yorkshire before moving to Norfolk in 1978. There, Celia decided to take up part-time nursing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, then from 1986 at the newly opened Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon.

“Along the way she turned down several offers of promotion, much preferring the flexibility of part-time work and the opportunities to look after her family and raise her daughter. They were particularly proud to see Jill commissioned into the RAF as an ATC officer and later for her to marry Darren Hayter, another RAF pilot.

"Her family successfully raised, Celia retired in 1998 and, in 1999 her daughter Jill welcomed into the world Douglas Hayter with whom Celia enjoyed a lot of time playing games and fostering his sense of adventure.

“Always fit and healthy, Celia enjoyed skiing with David in the 1980s, both moving to more leisurely golf in the 1990s first at Lakeside Lodge then Brampton Park from 1995 until a few years ago. They enjoyed many golfing holidays in France and Portugal, and even when touring in the USA and Canada.

"Deprived of a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother"

“Following David's retirement in 2000 they took up cruising, visiting most parts of the world returning from the Arctic just as Covid-19 broke out. That led her to step up her other leisure pursuit of taking lengthy walks and cycle rides each and every day of the week.

“In summary Celia was a quiet, industrious and loving wife and mother, always the ‘doer not the talker', never seeking the limelight. Having worked in the NHS for 25 years, she had brought babies into the world, nursed the chronically ill and seen death on many occasions. Her untimely death has robbed her of her dues and deprived David, Jill and Douglas of a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.”

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