A LARGS gran who devoted decades of her life to the Ayrshire Cancer Support shop and Largs Post Office has passed away aged 79.

Johan Bradford turned her hand to becoming manager of the much-loved charity shop in Bath Street after enjoying a long and fulfilling career at the P.O. branch for over 40 years.

Johan died peacefully at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley after suffering ill health in recent years, including a second stroke, sepsis and a mild heart attack.

She was described by family and friends as 'caring, hard-working and possessing a heart of gold'.

Johann was dux at her secondary school, Lochwinnoch Grammar and joined the post office in Paisley after leaving, working in the building which is now 'The Last Post' pub next to Gilmour St railway station.

She wed William Bradford from Johnstone, and they moved to Howwood but the marriage was not to last and Johann and her two young children Chris and Mark moved to Nelson Street in Largs.

Working her way up the ladder with her employer, Johann went on to become assistant postmaster and then postmaster at the former Aitken Street premises, as well as covering in Brodick.

The family moved to North Middleton Drive before settling upon Seamore Street.

Johan's work ethic meant that not only did she work at the post office but also ran a successful bed and breakfast operation from her house.

One of her proudest possessions was a letter from Her Majesty's Post Office commending her for her long years of service.

She joined the Ayrshire Cancer Support Shop as a volunteer and soon used her skills and expertise to boost the charity's funds.

Son Chris, 49, said: "It was initially through one of her friends that she went into the shop to help out - and once she did, she enjoyed it immensely.

"My mother always listened to other people's problems and had a great way of putting people at ease. She always maintain a level of calmness, which was a special skill.

"She was very good at driving funds up from bringing in baked goods from my step-dad David McDonald who was a chef and baker to trade with tablet, cakes and pastries on the front counter.

"If the shop was ever looking bare, my mother would sometimes bring down ornaments or clothing from the house, and always made sure the front window as well arranged - it was a real Aladdin's Cave in Largs.

"The shop very much relied on local donations and she was always thinking out of the box to raise funds.

"My mother loved the whole interaction of working in a charity shop - and of course people loved coming in for a bargain and some chat. It is a shame that the charity shop disappeared after my mum had to leave due to ill health.

"The shop had been under threat of closure when my mum took over but she ran things very efficiently and made it very popular."

Johan was an active member of the Clark Memorial Church in Largs and regularly helped out at coffee morning events. She also loved gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.

Sadly her second husband David passed away at only 65, and then Johan went on to lose some close friends, including Ayrshire Cancer Support shop colleague Gladys Barclay.

She is survived by Chris and her other son Mark, 56, as well as grandchildren Rochelle, Christopher, Johan and Luke.

Johan's funeral service was held at the Clark Memorial Church on Monday and thereafter at Brisbane Glen Cemetery.