She was a mother of seven, secretary for a Kingston darts league and a school caretaker, who died at the age of 96.
But Elsie Williams’ funeral was nearly ruined thanks to a florist who, instead of providing a floral tribute reading ‘NAN’, chopped up a couple of Ms to create this.
Family members were outraged after picking up the tribute from Blue Florist in Kingston on the morning of the funeral – Valentine’s Day – and were forced to find another one at the last minute.
Granddaughter Sam Burgess, 36, of Hare Lane, Claygate, said: “On Valentine’s Day we were trying to find a florist who would do a ‘Nan’ tribute in an hour.
“On that day you don’t want to be doing that sort of thing.”
Mrs Burgess said it was a “bit of a nightmare” to arrive at Blue Florist, in Kingston train station, to find the mangled tribute.
She added: “They have literally carved off an ‘M’ that would be for ‘Mum’. They’ve carved off the second leg of the ‘M’ and made just a very strange ‘N’.
“It’s just so wrong, and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it.
“He was appropriately apologetic but they clearly sent out flowers that are substandard.”
Eventually workers at Pick of the Bunch in Richmond Road came to the rescue, with an “amazing” tribute, Mrs Burgess said.
Blue Florist manager Goni Luka said: “I gave the job to somebody else because I was too busy. I relied on somebody else and they messed it up.
“If I had seen that I would never have let it go. That is something that shouldn’t happen.
“I will give [Mrs Burgess] a refund. Definitely I will do that.”
Blue Florist offers ‘special tributes’, including words and more complex arrangements like butterflies, for up to £270.
Mrs Burgess said: “My Nan always took everything in her stride and nothing was more important to her than family.
“She was an amazing woman who really did move with the times, if not the technological times.
“She brought the children up during wartime. She went through so much in her life.”
Elsie Williams, who lived for decades in York Road where several of her children were born, died on January 25.
Between 80 and 100 people, including family and members of the Kingston District Darts League attended her funeral.