Dawn Harding (2 Oct 1949 - 25 Oct 2023)
Donate in memory of
DawnCancer Research UK
In loving memory of Dawn Ivy Vera Harding (nee Barlow)
After surviving lung cancer for 15 years, Dawn passed away at home following a fall and chest infection.
Dawn was cared for by her beloved husband Peter and will be missed by family, friends and ex work colleagues from Tyrrell and Green department store.
All are welcome at her funeral at St Denys Church, Dundee Road, Southampton, SO17 2ND
on Wednesday 29th November 2023 at 1.45 pm.
Family flowers only please, but donations in memory of Dawn to Cancer Research UK., can be made via this page or can be sent c/o J. Lawrence & Sons (Undertakers) Ltd 17, St Denys Road, Portswood,
Southampton, SO17 2GN.
Eulogy for Dawn Ivy Vera Harding (nee Barlow)
Dawn Ivy Vera Harding was born and brought up in Southampton. Her father, Harold Barlow, was a Captain in the British Army and, after the war, became a Stock Valuer for a large retail chain. While in Southampton, just after the Second World war, he met Dawn’s mother, Ivy, who spent her working life in catering, from waitress on Southampton Royal Pier and the Hippodrome Theatre and later becoming manageress of the Windsor Snack Bar, near the old Southampton bus station.
Dawn was born on the 2nd October 1949 and although an only child, she grew up with her cousin Anthony, as Ivy often looked after Anthony while his parents worked. Dawn took up tap dancing as a child and often went to places such as the Bitterne Bowling Alley, and the Dolphin Hotel in Botley, listening to trad jazz bands which she liked. During her childhood, her father and her Uncle and Aunt took her on holidays to Wales and to Blackpool which Dawn loved.
She liked dancing and met her future husband, Peter, at the Top Rank Suite dancehall and, while courting, they often went to dances at the Royal Pier and the Top Rank Suite. She would have liked to do more ballroom dancing but Peter had “two left feet” which curtailed that activity!
Dawn and Peter were married at St Mary’s Church in Southampton in 1971 and their first house was in Midanbury, where they spend five happy years before buying a detached house in Bitterne, Southampton.
Dawn was interested in the retail industry and, at senior school, took GCE’s in accounts and commerce, as well as the usual subjects. On leaving school, she joined Tyrrell & Green, the local department store of the John Lewis Partnership, as an accounts clerk on the Haberdashery department. Dawn went to night school and obtained the Certificate in Retail Management Principles. From Haberdashery she moved to the Home Decorating Department, where she stayed for over 20 years. Her neat and quiet manner, and attention to detail, meant that her department’s Stocktaking results were usually one of the best in the branch. Wanting a more challenging job, Dawn moved to the Counting House and, after a while, became the store’s Internal Auditor.
Dawn enjoyed that job until she had a change of manager, who demanded that Dawn paid less attention to the “pennies” as long as the pounds added up. Dawn hated letting her exacting standards slip and moved to a selling department as Assistant Manager. This did not work out for Dawn and she left Tyrrell & Green after over 32 years service. Giving up work allowed Dawn to spend more time with, and to care for, her ageing mother. It also allowed her to take more overseas holidays with Peter, visiting Europe and North America many times. Dawn and Peter both enjoyed cruising, especially on the Cunard ships such as the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary 2.
Dawn absolutely loved cats and cared for them throughout most of her married life. Their house, and later their flat at St Denys, were adorned with many cat ornaments, cat pictures and cat soft toys, too many to count, but at least a hundred in total.
Dawn did not have many hobbies but her interests included watercolour painting, reading magazines and watching television. She especially liked crime dramas such as Midsomer Murders and also shows such as Strictly Come Dancing. She enjoyed flower arranging and was a member of the Flower Guild at the Church of the Ascension in Bitterne Park. Dawn also rarely missed going to the various Christmas pantomimes at the Mayflower (formerly Gaumont) Theatre in Southampton.
In 2008, Dawn contracted lung cancer and after, six months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, managed to beat the cancer and survive its onslaught. Unfortunately her mother Ivy passed away, just before Dawn’s cancer treatment started, leaving a big hole in Dawn’s life.
After a while and when the cancer had been beaten, Dawn decided to find and meet her father, Harold’s, first family who lived in the Shropshire and Cheshire area. She and Peter travelled to the area on holiday and first met her niece, Caroline, who then took her to meet Dawn’s sisters Mavis and Marion, both older than Dawn. Dawn was pleased to be accepted into their family and Dawn & Peter were invited to the weddings of George and Caroline’s two children, Lucy and James. Dawn was delighted when Lucy, and then James, had their children and loved meeting the family and receiving many photographs.
During April of 2022, while staying at an hotel in Sidmouth which, if not away on a cruise, Dawn loved to frequent for her anniversary, she suffered a fall caused by a seizure and her mobility started to become a problem. With the onset of Parkinson’s, her mobility and quality of life became worse and Dawn suffered another fall in October this year, which quickly lead to pneumonia and her subsequent passing.
Dawn will always be remembered for her gentle, and caring personality that was rarely without a smile and personified the famous quote:
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.”