Neighbours in funeral plea after Kenneth, 65, dies alone in Holloway flat

Loredana Raschle, of 68, Lillingston House, pictured outside Kenneth Williams' old flat at number 69

Loredana Raschle, of 68, Lillingston House, pictured outside Kenneth Williams' old flat at number 69. Text-only notices of his funeral have been posted around the Holloway tower block - no one had a picture of him - Credit: Archant

A last-ditch attempt to trace friends and family of a man who lay dead in his Holloway flat for six weeks has been launched by his neighbours.

The decomposed body of Kenneth Williams, 65, was found by police in the Lillingston House tower block, off Hornsey Road, on December 14.

The retired bartender, a widower, was said to have become withdrawn after his 18-year-old daughter died from cancer two years ago.

Now, his neighbours have launched an appeal through the Gazette to raise awareness of his memorial service on Tuesday.

Police were alerted after Islington Council was unable to contact him to carry out a social worker assessment, and next-door neighbour Loredana Raschle detected a strong smell from his 12th floor flat. The coroner ruled he had died of natural causes.

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Andreia Rola, 31, is leading the funeral campaign. She made friends with Mr Williams three years ago, and lived in Lillingston House up until August. She estimated he had been dead for six weeks, and said: “It was heart-breaking to find out. There are no words.

“We want to make his family and friends aware of what happened so people can pay their respects.”

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Ms Rola added: “I met him in the tower block lift. His shopping bag split and I helped. I could see the amount of pain he was in as he tried to bend down. He had problems with with his legs, which were swollen, and had trouble walking.

“He was just a very friendly Irishman, who loved his Guinness and whiskey. But he was a widow, and his daughter died of cancer two years before he passed away, and I think that was a big reason for his deteriorating health.

“He became withdrawn. His health was stopping him from going out to see his friends.”

Loredana Raschle, 55, Mr Williams’ neighbour of 12 years, said: “He kept himself to himself a lot of the time, but he was a very friendly man.

“He was very proud and independently minded. He didn’t like if someone told him what to do. He wanted to live life his way.

“It was very difficult for social services to reach him. I don’t think he had a telephone and he would miss appointments.

“About two years ago, he fell and was taken to hospital but discharged himself a few days later. He just told me he didn’t want to stay there.”

Cllr Janet Burgess, deputy leader of Islington Council, said: “At this very sad time, our thoughts are with the friends of Mr Williams, and all those who knew him.”

Tuesday’s funeral service, which was arranged by the council, will start at 9.30am at St Pancras and Islington Cemetery Crematorium, in 278 High Road, N2 9AG. A hearse will leave WG Miller funeral directors, in 93-95 Essex Road, N1 2SJ, at 8.30am.

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