MOURNERS packed a church to say goodbye to a tireless campaigner who dedicated her life to making things better for others in the community.
Ann Sobey, who was 86, died last month following heart problems but during her life had shown it to have a limitless capacity for love and support.
As honorary secretary for Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association (HASRA) Mrs Sobey spent nearly 50 years working for the good of the two Heathrow villages.
Today (Monday) friends and family gathered at St Mary the Virgin Church, Harmondsworth, for her funeral which was led by the Reverend Canon Amatu Onundu Christian-Iwuagwu.
David Brough, former head of democratic services for Hillingdon Council, was a friend of Mrs Sobey for 40 years and was given the honour of delivering the eulogy.
He spoke with pride and passion about her commitment to the anti-expansion at Heathrow Airport campaign and vowed there would be a doubling of efforts to see the threat of a third runway defeated in Mrs Sobey's name.
He said: "Ann was a truly remarkable woman.
"She was born in Devon in 1923, or it may have been 1924 as there is evidence her birth certificate was altered), and moved to Sipson in 1959 with her husband Brian when his work at Heathrow brought them to the borough."
He explained how her first act of community championing was to get her fellow mothers to fight for a replacement for Heathrow School which had to be moved to make way for a new airport access road in 1960.
She went on to help found the Right To Sleep petition which led to a ban on night flights and also attended to non-Heathrow matters including a footpath for Sipson Rec and the closing down of a much hated maggot factory.
He added: "She had strong opinions but there was no rancour and no nastiness; instead she presented them with reason and logic backed up by her merticulous memory.
"It was not done for power or for fame but because of her sense of justice and duty."
He revealed her 48 years of service marked her out as unique in Hillingdon and said the leader of the council is now working on permanent memorial in recognition of that dedication.
Finally he said: "The special way we can show our thanks to Ann is to renew our commitment to continuing the fight against Heathrow expansion. We are winning the arguments and if we double our efforts we can save the villages she treasured so much.
"We owe it to Ann to try."
The service moved on to Breakspear Crematorium, in Ruislip, and then Mr Sobey, who thanked everyone for the messages of support, welcomed friends and family back to the couple's home in Sipson Road.