SHE was a mayor who gave her all to the community.
So it was fitting that the pennant from the civic car sat on the top of the coffin at the funeral of former Havant mayor Jane Carruthers.
Hats on the coffin paid homage to one of her big passions – fashion.
More than 100 people went to the service at All Saints’ Church, Denmead, and heard about a woman ‘with a heart of gold’ who overcame the odds to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
Mrs Carruthers died on November 10 at the age of 89, but lived most of her life with one lung after having surgery in her 20s.
She and her husband Jack Carruthers moved from Lancashire to Cowplain in the 1950s on the advice of a doctor, who said she would be healthier further south where the air was drier.
The mum-of-three, a china painting teacher, fell in love with the area and went on to become an independent councillor for Cowplain for 24 years and the mayor of Havant borough in 1993.
Her grandaughter, Faye Theuma, 41, told the congregation: ‘Not many people can say their grandma has been on ITN and met the Queen – but we can.’
She added: ‘She was the first teacher of china painting in Hampshire. She loved to paint china to commemorate significant events such as the World Cup.’
The funeral heard Mrs Carruthers was an active member of the Women’s Institute and visited the birthplace of the movement, Stoney Creek in Canada.
She was chair of governors at Padnell Infant School and along with her husband Jack, was bestowed with the honour of Honorary Alderman.
Jane Wilson said her mum, an avid poetry reader, was ‘exceptionally creative’ who only had to look at a dress to recreate it.
‘In her own way she was Cowplain’s version of Vivienne Westwood,’ said Mrs Wilson.
With the maiden name of Riding, the Lancashire lass was always destined to like horses and Mrs Carruthers would speak fondly of the time she met Downlands Cancara, the stallion from the Lloyds Bank adverts, during her mayoral year.
Mrs Wilson said: ‘I can still hear her saying now “I bet you would rather be meeting a four-legged horse than the mayor of Havant”.’
Mrs Carruthers’ daughter Helen Ayres said: ‘I was blessed with a mum who was a great role model – a woman who cared enormously about the wider needs of society.’
Mrs Carruthers is survived by Jack, three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.