TO SAY that May and Wullie Graham were pillars of the Clackmannan community would be an understatement.

Having been together for 70 years, the two of them spent their lives contributing to the community and enjoying the glorious nature they found right on their doorstep.

Unfortunately, Wullie, 94, and May, 89, died within days of each other after spending some time in hospital shortly after Christmas last year.

Wullie, born and bred in Clackmannan, met May from Steelend in the queue to go dancing. They married on August 1, 1951, when May was 19 and Wullie was 24 and she moved to Clackmannan.

The couple had five children; Billy, Mary, Carol, Jean and Mark. Unfortunately Jean and Mark both passed away.

They also had five grandchildren; Brooke, Julie, Jeff, Robyn and Amy, and two great grandchildren Indie-Mae and Flynn.

Leaving school aged 14, Wullie started working in the pits the next day with his dad while May worked in Patons.

Wullie also spent three years with the paratroopers and served in Palestine, while May brought up the family in Garden Terrace, Clackmannan.

More than 30 years ago, May began volunteering around her community and would continue to do so until she was physically unable to in her later years.

A lifelong Rangers supporter, she volunteered as a football coach and a referee, and she started the first boys under 11 Clackmannan football team with Roy Sutherland.

She ran the Clackmannan school youth club for 30 years, and was involved in the junior section of the Boys Brigade.

"My mum had a good heart," Mary, the couple's daughter, said. "She would have done anything for anybody. She was a marvellous woman."

May (far right) with the first Clackmannan U11s football team

May (far right) with the first Clackmannan U11s football team

In 2004, May received an MBE for her work in the community. A trip to Holyrood was on the horizon.

Mary laughs and says: "When she got the letter, she thought it was a joke at first."

May, Mary, Carol and granddaughter Brooke all attended the ceremony and May received her medal from the queen.

Asked if being part of the community was a big part of her mum's life, Mary says: "It was her life. It was her whole life."

Karen Reid has known May for decades and attended May's youth club, as did her younger brother and her son.

She said: "She had a big impact on all the generations of Clackmannan. She'll be really missed by everybody, there's not a person in Clackmannan who won't have known her.

"There hasn't been another person like her and I don't think there ever will be.

"It was a privilege to know someone like May, she was so friendly and funny and I think everybody that knew her would feel privileged to have known her.

"Once in a lifetime you'll come across someone like May."

Wullie "walked and walked for miles" every day with greyhounds, and would walk all over Clacks, right up until he took ill.

In his later years, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's which rendered him blind, while May had a fall which brought on Alzheimer's.

May had another fall recently and was admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital, and Wullie was also admitted with a temperature.

He died in the early hours of Friday, February 5, and May died two days later on the Sunday.

Wullie and May will have a joint funeral on Monday, February 22, for family only.

On the way to Clackmannan cemetery, the procession will stop at Clackmannan primary school which was such a huge part of May's life, and then at the Craigrie Brae where Wullie loved to walk.