So many happy memories Gran, RIP. XXX
Donate in memory of
MarleneAlzheimer's Research UK
On 13th January 2015 passed away suddenly, at home in Exeter, aged 75 years.
Beloved wife of Brian, loving Mum and Mum-in-Law to Andrew & Julie, Debbie & Nigel and Sarah & Adrian, much loved Gran of Lucy, Alex, Helena, Abi, Matthew, Josh and Ollie.
Funeral Service Tuesday 27th January 2015, at Exeter Crematorium, 10.45am St Peter's Chapel.
Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to The Alzheimers Society via 'JustGiving' on this site or c/o M. Sillifant & Sons. Funeral Directors.
19-20 Holloway St. Exeter. EX2 4JD
A Tribute to Mum
Born in Exeter on midsummer’s day in 1939, Mum was also very proud of her Scottish roots, (hence the bagpipes at the start of the service), and was very close to her mum, Alice, and her dad, Alexander, himself a proud Scotsman from Dundee.
As a family, we always had to ensure that on Old Years Night, we got the words right to Auld Lang Syne, and that we only ever crossed our arms at the correct time !
It’s impossible to do justice to someone who led such a busy life and who had so many friends, in just a few minutes, so this tribute is going to concentrate on some of the many memories we, as children, and later as adults, had of Mum.
Of course, before we even appeared on the scene, there were the wonderful years of her childhood and teens, in Exeter, meeting Dad whilst working at Ottons, and their subsequent wedding at St Thomas Parish Church on 1st August 1959, followed by their honeymoon in Brighton. Mum always had lots of fun stories to tell about her childhood, and only the other day, Dad was recalling how, on their wedding day, they were ‘serenaded’ by the loud music blaring from the loud speakers at the County Ground.
Looking back, we will always be grateful for the way we were supported by Mum and Dad, throughout our school years, and beyond. In fact, that support was there right from the start, when Mum, along with sister-in-law Ruth, set up and ran one of the first Play Groups in Exeter, based at Emmanuel Church Hall.
That support extended into providing some fabulous family holidays for us, which have led to so many happy memories...
• Return visits to Scotland, where we would always look forward to meeting up with Auntie Mae and our other Scottish relatives
• Holidays in Cornwall
• The New Forest
• Narrowboating on the canal
• Our first holidays abroad to Spain and Greece, when package holidays were still in their infancy
• And more locally, many happy weeks at Sandy Bay in granddads caravan, and long weekends and summer evenings at our other granddads beach hut at Dawlish Warren, where we’d often meet up with extended family & friends.
When we fled the nest, Mum & Dad’s holidays were more geared towards their shared passion for walking, a passion that started with letterboxing on Dartmoor with Joan & Maurice, and then continued with walking holidays in Switzerland and Austria where they were so lucky to have their good friends, Sue & Chris, to accompany them, and share in their many adventures.
Mum & Dad were even lucky enough to have a couple of more exotic holidays abroad, through Dad’s work, including the now-legendary camel-ride in the desert.
At the start of this tribute we mentioned what a busy life Mum led, and looking back there were so many things, apart from bringing up a family and ‘proper’ work, that she threw herself into.
First, there was Guiding, where she made another huge circle of friends, became an Assistant Guide Leader, and first fell in love with Switzerland during a visit to ‘Our Chalet’.
Mum also used to support children with their reading at St Thomas High School.
Then there were Mum’s hobbies and crafts. Over the years she has turned her hand to so many things that we could probably cover the alphabet from A to Z. Here are some of them...
• Knitting, Sewing & Crochet
• Cross-stich (we will always treasure the wonderful cross-stich Advent calendars that she made, and the cross-stitched names of all the grand-children)
• Card Making
• Dress Making
• Flower arranging
• Keep fit, Yoga, and Cake Decorating classes, each of which usually involved Mum getting a fit of the giggles at some point
• Genealogy, during which she researched and produced our family tree
• Bird watching
• Word games, crosswords, and puzzles
• Playing board games, especially Scrabble
• Jigsaw puzzles
• Watching, and listening to, West-end Musicals
• & Swimming
Mum’s hobbies also spilled over into raising money for charity. In recent years, she has raised hundreds of pounds through her card-making, and looked forward, every year to sending dozens of filled shoe boxes to under-privileged children around the world, through the Christmas Shoebox campaign run by Samaritans Purse.
For the past 27 years, she has also been a devoted gran, spending hours and hours with all of her grandchildren, playing with them, listening to them, helping them to grow up, and being incredibly proud of everything they’ve achieved. She had her own little “Granny’s Boasting Book”, and would rarely have a conversation with any of her friends without passing on some snippet of information about what her grandchildren had been getting up to.
Mum always had a twinkle in her eye, and could see the funny side of most situations. So many of the lovely cards we’ve received over the last two weeks have mentioned her happy, smiling face, and we, as a family, have often talked about her distinctive and infectious laugh.
But after all that, the thing that defines Mum most is the word ‘friend’.
She was a friend to all the people she’s worked with over the years, at French’s, Ottons, Dynaglaze, Emmanuel Playgroup, the Nationwide Building Society, and her last job, in the Post Office in Cowick Street, where she loved chatting with the customers, often to the detriment of the growing queue.
She was a friend to all the people she knew at St Thomas Church, and at Alphington Wives Group. As well as being a good friend, she also had many good friends.
When she talked about “my friend” it often took us a moment or two to work out which of her many friends she was talking about.
Over the last couple of years, Mum was not able to do quite so much, but she always looked forward to meeting up weekly with her long-standing friend, Betty, and going to her exercise classes, where she made more new friends in Doreen & Tony. She loved her drives in the country and to the coast, and enjoyed anything which involved tea, cake, and reminiscing, whether in a café or at home; with friends or with family. Weekly Scrabble with Debbie had become a regular part of Mum’s life, and she always maintained her sense of humour and determination to win!
In the last six months she even made a brand new circle of friends at the fabulous ‘Singing for the Brain’ group, run by the Alzheimers Society, which she attended with Julie and Brian.
But most importantly, she was a friend to her family, especially to Brian, her husband of 55 loving years, her children, her brother and sister-in-laws & nieces & nephews, her daughter and son-in laws, and her seven grandchildren.
Thanks Mum, for being a friend to all of us.