Tributes have been paid to a much-loved former lollipop lady from Sale who 'knew everybody' in the area.

Connie Lewis passed away aged 83 at Wythenshawe Hospital.

She had worked as a lollipop lady for more than two decades and helped several generations of children cross the road.

Connie was also crowned the 'Rose Queen of Stretford' in 1952 and went on to work in her local charity shop.

Connie Lewis with her daughter Helena and granddaughter Rebecca

By the time she retired, local residents recognised her in the street when she did her daily shopping and 'everyone would wave to her'.

She sadly passed away at Wythenshawe Hospital earlier this year after having a pacemaker fitted following a diagnosis of heart failure.

Paying tribute to her mum, Connie's daughter Dr Helena Lee said: "She was so well-known in Sale, everyone would always wave to her or say hello in the street.

“My son Matthew would always say ‘wow Grandma, do you know everyone in Sale?’ because whenever they went out together she’d always be stopped by people who knew her from being a lollipop lady.

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“One person even stopped her in the lift in the M&S in Altrincham because they recognised her as the Rose Queen of Stretford from 1952.”

Helena, an NHS scientist, said her mum had been 'fit and well' and enjoyed daily walks until November 2019, when she woke up feeling very unwell.

Connie was taken to A&E at Wythenshawe Hospital where she was diagnosed with heart failure.

“She was suffering from breathlessness and swollen ankles so I’d thought that might be the case", Helena said.

Connie Lewis passed away aged 83 earlier this year

“After that she was in and out of hospital for a few months. She had a pacemaker fitted and she was out of hospital before the March Covid cases really started.

"But I felt sad because the pacemaker gave her a new lease of life but then the restrictions meant she couldn’t go anywhere.

“In the end I’m not sure what happened to her, but she collapsed at home in June. I went round because she wasn’t answering her phone and she later died at Wythenshawe.

“Covid has meant we could only invite 10 people to the funeral, but we did have people paying their respects by lining the streets for the procession, including some of my colleagues, which really meant a lot to me.

"My team mates from the laboratory knew my mum very well and also provided a floral tribute.

"We’ve also done some nice things online such as posting photos on a virtual remembrance site and we’ve been able to light candles and make donations."

After Connie passed away, Helena took part in a charity walk at Dunham Massey to remember her.

Taking part in the 'Forever In Our Hearts' event also helped raise money for the Wythenshawe Hospital Charity as a thank you to the staff who looked after Connie.

Helena Lee in her Wythenshawe Charity t-shirt after the walk

The walks, run by the Manchester Foundation Trust charity, are currently taking place across the region and can be done in memory of a loved one.

Donna O’Reilly, senior community fundraising officer at Manchester Foundation Trust Charity, said: “Unfortunately we cannot all come together to remember our loved ones this year, but that does mean we can encourage families to choose a place that might be more personal to them. 

"Just like Helena, we’ve heard of many families unable to do the tributes and remembrance events they would have liked to this year, so we were keen to still hold this event in a virtual way.

“Although we can’t be together, as a Charity we will support all our Forever In Our Hearts participants in their walks and offer any advice they may need.”

To find out more about the charity walks visit the website here or register before December 20 to receive a fundraising pack.

Did you know Connie? You can pay your tributes below