TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who dedicated her life to improving the health of Somerset.

Jean Pedrick (pictured), who has died aged 92, was one of the founder members of the St Margaret’s Hospice and spent her career in healthcare in the county.

Miss Pedrick was the first nursing member of Somerset Health Authority and was a long-serving member of the Somerset Community Health Council.

She worked for many decades as a nurse and matron at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, living in Henlade for many years.

One of her proudest moments was when she met Pope John Paul II during a visit to Rome.

Her niece, Clare Pedrick, who was with her when she met the Pope, said: “I had managed to get good tickets to the papal audience, though there were still a lot of people.

“But Jean was a very forthright person and was determined to meet the Pope.

"She stepped out right in front of him as he passed and held out her hand to introduce herself. It was a priceless Jean moment."

Miss Pedrick never married and had no children but leaves behind her nephews Charles and Jamie and niece Clare.

Her funeral will take place at noon next Friday (March 8) at St George’s Catholic Church in Taunton.