More tributes paid to ‘kind and generous’ Lady Mary Colman

Lady Mary Colman in a purple hat

Lady Mary Colman, who has died aged 88. - Credit: The Colman Family

More tributes have been paid to Lady Mary Colman, who died at the age of 88 earlier this month. 

Lady Mary Cecilia Bowes Lyon, who was a cousin to the Queen, died on January 2, at her home in Norfolk.  

Philippa Dannatt, the Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk, who is backing the Here to Help campaign. Picture

Philippa Dannatt, the Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk, who is backing the Here to Help campaign. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The Queen’s representative, the Lord-Lieutenant Lady Philippa Dannatt, described her as a “remarkable and special” person.  

She said: "The death of Lady Mary marks almost the end of an era for us here in Norfolk. She was a truly exceptional and wonderful lady, deeply loved by those of all ages and from all backgrounds. 

"She was one of the very kindest, most generous, and genuinely engaged people you could ever meet, with an infectious, irrepressible sense of fun, and the gift to light up an occasion like few others.  

"Lady Mary was devoted to all her family and was a magnificent support to her husband for the 25 years he was Lord-Lieutenant. Her death will be felt deeply across the county and way beyond.” 

Lady Mary Colman walks with The Queen Mother

Lady Mary Colman with the Queen Mother. - Credit: Archant

Lady Mary was born in January 1932 at the family home of Gastlings in Bedfordshire. She grew up in Bedfordshire and was educated at Hatherop Castle in Gloucestershire. 

In 1951, at the age of 19, she married Sir Timothy Colman, whose family had set up mustard manufacturer Colman's of Norwich.  

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The couple's early married life was spent in Dorset, with Sir Timothy, who went on to be Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk for more than 25 years, serving in the Royal Navy at Portland. The couple moved to Bixley Manor in Norfolk in 1953, where she spent the remainder of her life.

Lady Mary Colman sitting down while holding a terrier.

Lady Mary Colman with one of her terriers. - Credit: The Colman Family

She served several local charities, including The British Red Cross. 

A spokesperson for the charity said she would be “greatly missed”. 

She was also president of the Norfolk Autistic Society for 26 years, until her retirement in 2001.

In 2008, the charity merged with Autism Anglia. Its fundraising and community engagement manager, Anna Rogers, paid tribute to her.

She said: "We would like to acknowledge Lady Colman’s dedication and support for the autistic community in Norfolk over the many years she was president of the Norfolk Autistic Society.  

“We were sad to hear of her passing.”  

Reception at Blickling Hall for Sir Timothy Colman.
Sir Timothy with lady Mary
Photo: Nick Butcher

Lady Mary Colman, with her husband, Sir Timothy Colman. - Credit: Archant

Lady Mary leaves Sir Timothy, three daughters, Sarah, Sabrina and Emma, and two sons, James and Matthew.  

She also had 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.  

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