Real Lives: Tributes to witty and popular Jessie

Jessie Bryce
Jessie Bryce
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved great-grandmother who has died at the remarkable age of 104.

Loved ones packed themselves into Mortonhall Crematorium to pay their respects to Jessie Bryce – a popular relative, friend, church member and neighbour to many people across the Capital.

Jessie is pictured here in December 2009 at the official opening of a new wing at Lorimer House Nursing Home in Lanark Road, where she spent the last eight years of her life.

“She was a great character – very witty and popular,” said manager Sean Black. “She had a lot of strong bonds.”

Mrs Bryce was born in 1907 in St Andrews but moved to Edinburgh aged five to Logie Green Road, where she lived with her parents, Alexander Dobie and Fanny-Jane Halliday, and sister Marion Jane, until her wedding day.

Mrs Bryce joined the general post office at 17, working as a telegraphist using Morse Code. In 1937, she married James Bryce, who worked for Edinburgh Corporation’s water board, and the couple had one son, Ronnie, whom they raised in Craiglockhart’s Allan Park Drive.

It was at the family home that Mrs Bryce lived until she went to Lorimer House, building up strong connections with neighbours and members of Craiglockhart Parish Church.

“She was very much involved in the community,” said Ronnie, 65, who lives in Cramond with his wife, Liz. “She was always out and about and was an active member of the church’s guild. So many of her old friends came to her funeral.”

Mrs Bryce and her husband were keen travellers and spent many summers in the Lake District. Following his death in 1990, she would continue the hobby, taking trips to far-flung locations with her friends, sharing all the details with her family on her return.

That included her granddaughter, Julie, and her husband, Mark, who have three children, Jennifer, nine, and six-year-old twins Lauren and Alistair.

“I’ll always remember my mum as just being there for us,” said Ronnie. “She was very involved with her grandchildren and loved family gatherings.”