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Toy shop family from Marlborough face double blow
Marlborough is in mourning after the death of a teacher and her grandmother in the same week.
Teacher and mother-of-two Vicky Philpott, 48, died on Friday and her 96-year-old grandmother Sylvia Gray died on Thursday.
They were both members of the family who ran Duck’s toy shop.
Cancer claimed the life of Mrs Philpott, who lived at Aubrey Close with her husband Ian and daughters Mollie, aged ten, and Harriet, eight.
Her grandmother Sylvia Gray, who was a great grandmother of seven, died following a fall two weeks ago in which she broke a shoulder.
Mrs Gray’s son, Tony, 74, who used to own Duck’s toy shop, told the Gazette on Tuesday he was still trying to come to terms with losing his mother and his only daughter within 48 hours.
He is well known in the town as he was twice mayor of Marlborough and a former chairman of Kennet District Council.
Mrs Philpott had trained as a scientist after her education at St John’s School and Plymouth University and worked for a while for a scientific company in Cambridge.
In the early 1990s she fancied a change and re-trained as a primary school teacher.
She taught at a number of schools in the Marlborough area including Grafton, Durrington, Broad Hinton, St Mary’s, the former Upavon School and also at a school in Calne.
She was chairman of the Friends of St Peter’s School, which her daughters attend, until the time of her death.
In her last year of teaching she set up a system to help pupils who had difficulty with reading.
Mrs Philpottt who, like her grandmother was born in Marlborough, was diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago and underwent treatment at the Great Western Hospital and in Oxford undergoing six weeks of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of radio therapy before being told she was in complete remission.
However, after she became ill at Christmas, doctors at first thought she was suffering from meningitis but then told her that cancer had returned, spread through her body and was untreatable.
Mr Philpott, a political agent, said: “She won the battle with breast cancer but sadly not this time.”
The funeral for Mrs Philpott is on Thursday, March 14, at 2pm, in St Mary’s Church and will be followed by interment.
Her family is asking mourners to wear bright colours.
There will be family flowers only with donations going to St Peter’s School or Cancer Research UK, care of Hilliers Funeral Service, 170 Victoria Road, Swindon SN1 3DF.
Mrs Gray’s funeral is on Monday at St Mary’s Church at 10am.
She will be buried with her late husband, Harold, in the town cemetery.