Ruby Pearl Marshall, who died on May 12, aged 78, received a spectacular funeral. The supersized send-off attracted hundreds mourners from around the country and featured a horse drawn carriage and fleet of limousines.
Mrs Marshall, who was a member of the travelling community, had 53 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was laid to rest following a service Tydfil’s Old Parish Church in Merthyr, South Wales.
Her family contributed around 60 wreaths, which were drawn on eight different wagons. Many of the floral arrangements were in the shape of Mrs Marshall’s favourite things, from puppies to sweets.
Talking to The Mirror, Mrs Marshall’s daughter Debbie said: “My mother was the Queen of the Gypsies and we really want to give her a big fat gypsy funeral – she would have loved that so much.”
HARP Funeral Services worked with the family.“It was a challenging and a very demanding funeral,” said funeral director Dafydd Iles. “It was interesting to witness the traditions and customs that the travelling community have.”
“The family decided on four white horses and a white carriage, white American Casket, ten white matching Chrysler Limousines, country and western music to be played in all the limousines, ten buckets of rose petals, over 60 floral tributes worth £16,000, a dove release followed by a balloon release.
“Overall the funeral was a great success, with over 500 people in attendance. Family, friends and the whole Merthyr community were overwhelmed by the turnout and the sheer size of the funeral. The cortege stretched for over a mile and brought Merthyr to a standstill.
“There were hundreds of people that came to watch, taking photos and videos as the funeral passed through the town on the two hour journey to the cemetery in Pontypridd.”