BARBARA Ann Wharton, owner of the family-run The Coffee Pot Café – now called the The Café & Bistro – at Thorp Arch retail park, near Wetherby, won admiration, respect and affection by the indomitable spirit she showed after being diagnosed with lung cancer five and a half years ago.
She was told then that nothing could be done and that she might live another six months.
But following a second opinion from a surgeon at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, she underwent surgery, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She also took part in clinical research trials at the hospital and at Christie Hospital, Manchester.
The manner in which she bore the disease and the side-effects of the treatments for it inspired many other cancer sufferers. A mark of the regard in which she was held is shown by the £12,750 which was raised by the collection held in her memory for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Mrs Wharton, whose home was in Aberford, set up her own business assisted by her son Tim on the retail park 25 years ago. This was after working a number of years for George A Moore Group, owners of the Bywell Shopping Centre on the park.
Professional, enthusiastic and friendly, not only did Mrs Wharton become a reputable caterer during her 25 years as owner, but was popular and respected, many of her customers becoming personal friends.
It was after she was diagnosed with cancer, however, that the strength of her character became fully apparent, and was so inspirational.
One of two sisters, and born in Lancashire, Mrs Wharton was brought to Yorkshire by her parents when her father changed jobs.
She met Mr John Wharton some 50 years ago, and they were married in 1966. She once remarked: “Who would have thought that the red rose and the white rose would blossom so well?”
Maintaining her ethos, her son Tim and his wife Elle, assisted by her five grandsons, continue to run the business on the retail park. Mrs Wharton is also survived by her husband John and her sister Wendy.