A COUPLE who were devoted to one another for more than 70 years and died just days apart will be laid to rest at a joint funeral this week.

Raymond and Jane Hubery, of Trimdon Village, near Sedgefield, were happily married for 73 years and were practically inseparable, holding hands at every possible opportunity and caring for one another in times of need.

And when Mrs Hubery, 92, died on December 5, her beloved husband passed away just six days later on December 11, aged 93.

The couple’s only daughter, Jean McNeill, and granddaughter, Claire McNeill, who both live in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle, said this was how they would have wanted it.

Mrs McNeill said: “They always believed everything should be done together and they have got their wish.

“They could not even bear to be apart for their final nights on Earth and have spent the last few nights side by side in the chapel of rest.”

Mr and Mrs Hubery were both one of six children. Mrs Hubery was brought up in Trimdon Grange and left school at 14 to help look after her siblings.

At 19, she married Mr Hubery, who was originally from Deaf Hill. When he was seriously injured working down the mine, Mrs Hubery lovingly cared for him.

The couple moved from Trimdon Grange to Trimdon Village when their daughter was seven and soon became popular members of the community.

Mrs Hubery worked as a dinner lady at the village primary school and served as a Labour parish councillor. She also enjoyed football and dancing.

Mr Hubery, meanwhile, liked gardening, DIY and tinkering with his car.

“He was devoted to my mum and always said if she was happy he was too,” said Mrs McNeill.

Sadly, ten years ago, Mrs Hubery was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her husband looked after her for five years until her needs became too great and she was taken into full time care.

Mr Hubery continued in the family home for many years but recently he moved to Acorn Grange Residential Home in Sedgefield.

“They will be missed more than anyone will ever know,” said Mrs McNeill.

“They were wonderful parents and grandparents.

"We would like to thank the staff at Acorn Grange for being so wonderful to my father in his final months.”

The funeral will take place at 11am on Wednesday, December 19, at St Mary Magdalene Church in Trimdon Village, followed by a service at Durham Crematorium at noon.