Model and footballer Leon’s heartfelt tribute to South Bank nan who ‘lived her life to the max’

A heart felt tribute has been paid to a Teesside nana who lived her life to the max.

Jean Ann Smith, 84, passed away unexpectedly in hospital where she had been admitted with was initially thought to be a stomach bug.

Sadly, it turned out be much more serious than her family and doctors feared. Jean, nan to model and former professional footballer Leon Scott, had developed sepsis from an abdominal blockage and sadly died the next day.

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She was very well known in South Bank and head of a large family. Leon, 35, said she loved getting out and about and became something of an internet celebrity on his instagram page thanks to her joie de vivre.

He has received thousands of messages of condolence at her loss.

At the age of 84, said Leon, his nan was always sprightly, full of energy and loved getting out and about into town and into Redcar from her home in South Bank.

“My nana lived her life to the max even though she was 84,” said Leon.

“She was always one of those people who would get out and do it, she was a very positive lady.

“She became a little bit of an internet celebrity through insta, she loved singing and dancing, she loved bingo and she just loved getting out.

“She was a very popular lady, everywhere you went. I’ve received messages from all over the world.”

The past few months have been a rocky ride, he said. Jean fell and broke her hip and then and later, fell again and fractured her skull, she also fought covid.

She hadn’t been feeling the best and was taken in to hospital on Wednesday, July 28, she sadly passed away just after midnight on Thursday, July 29.

Jean was born in Hull into a travelling family but she met and married Leon’s grandad and settled in South Bank.

Her partner Frank Stephenson passed away a few years ago and she leaves six children and many grandchildren as well as her brothers and sisters.

She has always been a big part of Leon’s life and looked after him in his younger days. Since he was able, he’s looked after her, always happy to return the favour, he says.

Jean’s funeral was held at St John’s Church on Normanby Road, South Bank on Tuesday.

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Teesside Live – Redcar and Cleveland