Praze an Beeble residents pay for local man's funeral

Tom Kitto Image copyright L Blewett and Son Funeral Directors
Image caption Tom Kitto was a well-known figure around his village of Praze an Beeble in Cornwall

A villager who was due to have a basic council-organised cremation has been given a funeral and burial thanks to the generosity of his neighbours.

A funeral director offered his services for free when he heard Tom Kitto, who had lived all his life in Praze an Beeble, Cornwall, was to be cremated.

Villagers donated about £3,000 towards costs and the church waived its fee.

Mr Kitto was laid to rest on Saturday at the church where his parents were buried.

Mr Kitto would open and close the public toilets every day - often accompanied by his black cat, Misty.

Image caption Mr Kitto's funeral was held at the village's Crowan Church - the same one his parents were buried at

The former construction worker died in December, aged 73, after a period of ill health.

His friends and neighbours were devastated when they found out that he was not going to have a funeral.

"I was told it would be local authority, so the council was basically going to cremate him and dispose of his ashes," said undertaker Chris Blewett, who had known Mr Kitto for more than 50 years.

Image copyright Praze Village Shop
Image caption Tom Kitto, 73, died in December after a period of ill health

Mr Blewett and his wife Sandra Muriel began a campaign to raise funds for the other funeral costs.

She set up a crowdfunding page and the original target of £1,400 was reached within two days.

"It was remarkable that people were so generous just before Christmas," Mrs Muriel said.

"We contacted the coffin supplier, the church, the organist, the printer and everybody offered a discount or to waive their fees altogether," Mr Blewett said.

Money left over will go towards a headstone, a bench outside the post office where Mr Kitto used to sit, and towards food for his cat.

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