Couple who lived and died together

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A devoted Market Harborough couple who had been married for 54 years have died within five days of each other at a town nursing home.

Norman Odell (79) died on September 20, and his wife Anna (76) on September 25, both at the Willows Nursing Home on Coventry Road, in the town.

There will be an unusual husband-and-wife funeral at Our Lady of Victories Catholic church in the town on Monday, October 10.

The couple’s younger son Simon Odell, who also lives in the town, said: “They were absolutely happy together. They lived a very happy life.

“Dad died five days before mum, in a room very close to her’s at The Willows, but because she was so ill herself, she didn’t know.”

Parish priest Father Owen O’Neill said: “I knew them both very well.

“They were both absolute stalwarts of the church.

“It’s not often that a husband and wife die so close together, but they had both been unwell for some time, and now their suffering is at an end together.”

Norman and Anna met when they both worked for English Electric in Leicester.

They were married at St Mary’s Catholic church, Wigston, in 1962.

The moved to Hingham in rural Norfolk to run a Post Office together, before Norman, who was a trained engineer, got a job with Ferranti.

They then lived in Hamstreet near Ashford in Kent, before moving to Market Harborough in 1978, to a house on Northampton Road.

By then they had their two children: eldest son Carl and Simon.

Norman’s job took him all over the world, including America, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

He would be away from home for three or four weeks at a time.

Anna worked for 22 years as the school secretary at St Joseph’s Primary School in Coventry Road, Market Harborough.

“Dad was very jovial, always the centre of attention” said 

“There was always a nice treat at the end of each of his trips abroad, often the latest gadgets - I remember a Walkman and a CD player.

“Mum was probably the boss though.

“She had her own job at St Joseph’s school and ran the family, and for many years looked after her own mum and dad as well.”

The couple leave two children and two grandchildren.

An announcement in the Harborough Mail last week said the Funeral Mass for the couple will be on October 10 at 10am at Our Lady of Victories church, Market Harborough, followed by a private cremation.