Sue Ryder Dies at 77
LONDON (AP) _ Sue Ryder, who devoted her life to helping the poor and disabled, died Thursday. She was 77.
Ryder had been in poor health, but details of her illness were not disclosed.
Ryder, who was made a baroness for life for her charity work, opened her first home for the disabled in 1952 and set up the Sue Ryder Foundation a year later.
The charity, now called Sue Ryder Care, operates more than 80 homes in a dozen countries for the long-term ill and disabled and has about 24,000 volunteers and 580 charity shops to raise funds.
Born in Leeds to a well-to-do family, Ryder was 16 when she volunteered as a nurse during World War II. She eventually helped coordinate Resistance activities as a driver and radio operator with the Polish section.
After the war, Ryder volunteered to do relief work in France and Poland.
Because of her strong attachment to Poland, she chose the title Baroness Ryder of Warsaw when she was elevated to the nobel rank in 1979.
Earlier this year, Ryder set up the Bouverie Foundation to support her homes after a dispute with the trustees of Sue Ryder Foundation.
``The passing of this exceptional human being will also be mourned by the innumerable supporters, sympathizers and fellow workers who shared Ryder’s vision of a more compassionate and humane world and were inspired by her lifelong commitment to the relief of suffering,″ the Bouverie Foundation said in a statement.
Ryder is survived by a son, Jeremy Cheshire, and a daughter, Elizabeth Cheshire. Her husband, World War II hero Leonard Cheshire, died in 1992.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.