Anthea Heaton Pearce (11 Jul 1943 - 8 Mar 2015)

Funeral Service

The Benn Hall Newbold Road Rugby CV21 2LN
1st Apr 2015

Burial Details

Greenhaven Woodland Burial Yelvertoft Road Lilbourne
1st Apr 2015

In loving memory of the late Anthea Heaton Pearce who sadly fell asleep on 8th March 2015
Funeral arrangements
Anthea fell asleep on Sunday morning, 8th March at 2am. She had only just come home from hospital on Saturday afternoon. She had been diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder on Feb. 6th, the day we had to say goodbye to our dog Scamper, our companion for 18½ years. A week later, following a biopsy, we were told it was incurable. Because of jaundice, Anthea had to have a stent fitted to unblock the bile duct, which was done on March 3rd and was successful so she could come home. As we travelled from Walsgrave she saw the fields of lambs by St Thomas’ Cross and the wonderful crocuses on the Green outside the house. After 3 weeks in hospital, she was so pleased to be home in the peace and quiet and surrounded by familiar things. She had bacon and a few chips and a small piece of sponge and custard. Marc had sent a picture of the latest grandchild – Lexie was born on Thursday! Jessica had that afternoon chosen her wedding dress, so Anthea had been able to admire the pictures that she had sent. (Oh the wonders of modern technology!) Since the stent was fitted on Tuesday her colour had been steadily improving and virtually all trace of the jaundice had gone. She looked her normal self. However a few hours later she just slipped away. When we let the hospital know they too were surprised at its suddenness. What Anthea feared was a painful death; she was spared this, for which we are thankful.
The funeral arrangements have now slotted into place. Because of friends and relatives being away we were looking at the w/c 29th March. We now have fixed the date for April the 1st, Anthea would have smiled at that, but practically it was a day others avoided, which was fine by us!
Having initially been told by the Masonic Hall that they could no longer hold religious services, we looked at the Village Halls close to where Anthea wanted to be buried – a woodland cemetery at Lilbourne just a few miles from Rugby, but they were no bigger than our Christadelphian Hall in Oliver Street. So we thought, it’s a bit mad, but what would the Benn Hall charge where we have held our annual Prophecy Day for the past 14 years. We were amazed at how reasonable it is. There is ample parking all round (£1 for 3 hrs) and plenty of room and only a few hundred yards from our own Hall. So what is planned is that the funeral service will take place at 1pm. For those travelling there will be drinks and tables for you to eat your own packed lunches in the Rokeby Room, within the Benn Hall beforehand, or there are many eating places in the Town Centre.
The service will be a reflection of Anthea’s life and a brief explanation of the wonderful Truth of God that Anthea, as a teenager, was seeking for and found. It changed her life and gave her her strong faith so that she was able to comfort those who came to visit her in hospital, who were perhaps amazed at her frequent statement that she was not afraid to die (but she did hope she would be spared a period of intense pain – which she was). She would have loved you to understand the plain, logical message of Hope that the Bible has of the wonderful time that God has promised when His Son, the Lord Jesus returns to rule the earth from Jerusalem. As a teenager reading the Bible she could see the importance of Israel in God’s Purpose. And she had witnessed the establishment of the State of Israel after an exile of 2,000 years - a unique occurrence in any nation’s history. So when at Pershore Horticultural College (well, Institute in those days) she asked me to explain how the Jews fitted into God’s Purpose, she found that she had asked me to open the door to a pearl of great price and was baptised (immersed) into the saving Name of the Lord Jesus a few months later, having discovered that sadly so much of what she had been taught in the Church, didn’t match with what she read in her Bible. So please come along if you possible can.
After the service the burial will be at the Greenhaven woodland burial ground at Lilbourne – about 6 miles to the east of the Benn Hall (maps will be provided) at approx. 2.30pm. This gives time to go to the loo at the Benn, because there are no facilities in the field! The informal plots look across to Lutterworth, Gilmorton and Walcote - places of Anthea’s childhood. Bring your flat shoes as it is a natural woodland area with only grass paths. If it has been raining it may be a bit muddy so put your wellies and brollies in the boot! This was the first private woodland burial site in the UK, established 20 years ago. You will only find wooden plaques marking the graves and a native species sapling is planted for each plot – we have chosen a wild cherry. Following the short service and interment, the family invite you to return to the Benn Hall for refreshments and reminiscing. If you don't want to go to teh burial, then please stay at the Benn.
What the family would love is for you to record your memories and some of the sayings of Anthea and post them on this site which the Coop have set up.
Anthea was well known – we have lived in Hillmorton for nearly 50 years. She travelled on the 3/3A; 10; 96 buses to Town and back virtually every day. As a foster mother and child-minder for 30-40 years, the Silver Cross pram (now in the Rugby Museum!) and its ever changing babies were well known in Hillmorton and quite a talking point. She was always there to listen and to give advice. Her breadth of knowledge was quite amazing. Within our Christadelphian community she was well known as a Youth Group leader and a Camp leader at the Youth Camps that were held in Anglesey. Anthea often accompanied me when I was speaking at other Christadelphian meetings around the country. She could remember who was related to whom, quite a valuable asset when talking within such a caring and interlinked community.
By way of follow-up to explaining Anthea’s beliefs, we also invite you to come along on Easter Sunday 4th April, when the Bible talk at 3pm at the Christadelphian Hall, 76 Oliver St is entitled Why I believe the Bible (this is quite fortuitous as the subject was chosen in January.) Our Bible Talks are uploaded to YouTube afterwards and I can give you the link on request.
Donations in lieu of flowers.
As part of Anthea’s keen interest in God’s nation, the Jews, she was for many years active in the collection of clothing for needy Jews. This is now channelled through the Christadelphian Jewish Clothing Relief. (Click on the "Anthea Pearce" tab on my website for more details.) We have a unit in Birmingham where clothes which have been collected locally are sent to. Here they are sorted and every few weeks a big lorry takes them to London for sending to areas like Ukraine where there are many living in poverty. (The last shipment consisted of 13,000 items weighing 5 tonnes collected over the 11 week period since the previous shipping). Money raised from selling rags and from donations helps pay for wool for knitting blankets. Recently there has been a move to sending money so that repairs can be made to their houses and supply practical help to these people who live in poverty and are despised by the local population. Clothing is sent also to Israel to help the many Jews arriving in ever growing numbers because of anti-Semitism, with just the clothes they stand up in. Anthea would crochet together the knitted squares provided by our members, turning them into blankets. She collected the donations and sorted and bagged them – even rags are sold to raise money. She would scour the Charity Shops and bargain rails in Asda etc to buy new baby and toddler items to be sent off. (If you have new/old clothes don’t dump them, let me have them – I can provide a list of what is wanted and the sizes of squares if you are a knitter – wool is provided.) So the collection is for the Christadelphian Jewish Clothing Fund. There will be a collection box at the Hall, or you can donate online – you can do an online transfer to
Ac: Refugee Clothing Relief,
Sort code 30-62-61
Account number 48128968.
Ref: in memory of Anthea

. Also there is a tab on this site to leave your thoughts and recollections.
Thanks for your help.
So to summarise. (Revised 19th Mar)

Wed April 1st

11.00 Benn Hall, Newbold Road, Rugby opens (CV21 2LN)
12.40am approx. coffin leaves 76 High St.
1.00pm Service
2.30pm Burial at Lilbourne Greenhaven (CV23 0SZ)
3.30pm onwards, refreshments back at Benn Hall
We hope that you will be able to join Anthea’s family and friends in celebrating her life and faith.
If you are unable to attend, we are looking to see if we can unobtrusively place a camera to put out a live broadcast on a private YouTube channel. Just email Stuart at for details.
PS. Anthea always said that she didn’t want people to come in all black to her funeral, so please wear as much colour as you feel comfortable with.
PPS. Our grateful thanks to the wonderful care and services provided by the NHS. Some things could have been better, but we have nothing but praise, we were seen by some outstanding people.
With love from:
Donald, Erica, Matthew, Marc, Jasmine and her 8 grandchildren.
76 High St,
Rugby CV21 4EE
01788 542408

George Grove wrote

Sorrow not as other which have no hope

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum wrote

It is with sadness that we hear of the recent death of Mrs Anthea Pearce.
Donald and Anthea Pearce have been great supporters of Rugby Art Gallery & Museum in the past and have donated many wonderful objects to our collections.
They were married on 26th June 1965 and Anthea's wedding outfit is a very popular exhibit in the Social History Gallery. It consists of a white Ottoman silk dress with matching coat, which was made for her by Miss S Randle of Lutterworth. Her lace stiletto shoes, which completed the outfit are also on display, along with a photograph of the couple on their big day.
Another special object is their Silver Cross pram which was on permanent display until recently. This was bought in 1966 (from Nathan's Hardware & Baby Supplies in Lawrence Sheriffe Street), initially for their own children, then later on for their foster children and also for the many years Anthea spent as a child-minder.
We would like to pass on our condolences to her husband Donald, family & friends.
The staff at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Stuart Courtonel wrote

Our heartfelt condolences to the family and all who came into contact with Dear Sister (Auntie) Anthea - She touched the lives of so many..... My last and abiding memory of my dear Sister Anthea, (which for me really summed her up as a person), was at the hospital, where, despite her condition and obvious discomfort, she had spent most of our time together comforting me!
She was always concerned for others above herself.
But this, as we all know, was always tinged with a mischievous degree of humour, and a cheeky smile - pointing out to me that the colour of her skin at that time resembled a 'Minion' pictured on one of the bags that was in her possession.
Anthea's immediate concern was focused toward her devoted family - she was hopeful that she would 'make it' to her and Don's Golden wedding anniversary and she so wanted to be strong for him and was looking forward to seeing the whole family together once she got back home.
Anthea confessed that her greatest fear was being in pain and that she was thankful that the Angels had ensured Erica was in a position where she could make sure she was pain free when the time approached, (we had a giggle about this also!)
But again, she reassured me that she was prepared for whatever was to come her way as she knew her Father in Heaven would not permit her to suffer more that she could bear and that we should not worry about her.
So her passing, in the way it happened, though a shock at first, was very much tempered with thankfulness that our Heavenly Father had spared her the suffering she was most afraid of. A prayer answered I am sure.
The very last thing Sister Anthea said to me as I was leaving her, was that when she is in need in the quiet moments, she just asks the Angels to 'give her a hug'.
I thought this was beautiful, and have thought about it much since........
I am sure she was in the arms of the Father when she passed and she did not suffer.
I hope you can derive the same comfort from her words that I do....
God Bless
I found these words on line and thought of Sister Anthea.
In the hour of deepest trial when all earthly comfort fails
And no cheering ray of sunshine I can see,
Then to Him I bring my sorrow and He wipes away my tears,
As He puts His loving arms around me.
In our certain hope of the resurrection,
Bro Stuart and Sister Trasey-Anna Courtonel and family.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Carol Talbot wrote

Dear Anthea was like a big sister to me, she reminded me in so many ways of my eldest sister who lives in Queensland, Sustralia. They were the same age and pulled no punches if she was offering advice yet St the same time Anthea had the biggest heart and had time for every single person she knew, young and old.
I shall miss Anthea terribly as she was at the heart of the ecclesia , a true mother in Isreal .
Sleep in Peace, dear Anthea, until the glorious time of the Resurrection , when, God Willing, we shall be united in the God's presence.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Robert Weston wrote

Jane and I were saddened to receive Jasmine's telephone call the day after Anthea's passing away. Her full and wonderful life was a testament to others. My sister (Rosemary Conley) joins with us to send our condolences to Donald, Erica,Matthew, Marc and Jasmine. We are very sorry not to be able to attend the funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Robert and Jane Weston on Saturday 21st March 2015

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Valerie Cave(nee Dutton) is attending the funeral
Valerie Cave(nee Dutton) wrote

I have known Anthea since the Graammar School at Lutterworth. I knew her mother, her grandfather - Mr. Heaton. I was two years older than Anthea and I was very soon aware of what a strong personality she had. After leavin g school and eventually marrying I settled in Rugby. I always took great delight in meeting Anthea at times (completely by chance) in Rugby town. Anthea was my closest association to Lutterworth Grammar school I had and always felt a close harmony with her. I last 'bumped' into Anthea in town (Boots the Chemist) just a few days after Cedric Carnal's funeral at Lutterworth which she had attended, being advised by her long time friend Pat Budden. I had known nothing of it and was sad to have missed out because my association with Cedric had ben a vital part of school life in the 50's. I have lost a very dear comfortable friend. I will attend the funeral service at the Benn Hall and look forward very much to being inspired, if a little sad at losing such a vibrant warm endearing person. (She was going to let me have a copy of Cedric's funeral service sheet which she said she would put in her bag and give me the next time we met) How sad I am now that I didn't contact her direct about this matter.
May I also mention may dear friend, next door neighbour and bridesmaid Rachel Burnage who is very sad to hear of Anthea's death as I emailed her straight away with the news. She lives in California.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Valerie Cave(nee Dutton) wrote

I was very shocked and upset to read in the Rugby Advertiser this week of Anthea's death. I knew her from Lutterworth Grammar school and will leave my memories of Anthea on another site. May I send condolences to Donald, children and grandchildren. You have peace in the certainty of Christ's coming again .

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Rich Lawson wrote

I knew Anthea via our Christadelphian ecclesia (church). Whilst I only had the pleasure of really knowing her since I was baptised into our shared faith in 2006 it is obvious that she left a great impression on all who got to meet her.

Anthea was very much a grafter in the ecclesia. I remember her putting a great deal of hard work into Sunday School outing and Sunday School parties. She was also an extremely good hall cleaner, putting me to shame! Latterly I will always remember her dishing out lots of lovely food during our wonderful ecclesial meals :-) She was also on hand to berate me when I was a child, although each time it was fully justified and more often than not followed quite quickly by a smile and a positive remark.

What I most of all know about her is of her strong and unwavering understanding and love of our Christadelphian beliefs in the word of God and the Good News contained within. In discussions during our weekly bible class Anthea was never shy to share her knowledge of the scriptures. Her love was latterly displayed in not only her knitting of patchwork squares for a wonderful cause but also for her enthusiasm in relation to the appeal for Jewish Clothing Relief (giving of clothes to poor Jews throughout the world).

If there is one thing I will always take with me about Anthea is what she said to me before her last trip to Israel. She stated that if she fell asleep (passed away) there she wouldn't mind being buried there as that is where her Master was to return. Not so long after she said that I went to that Holy City and I understood what she meant. Anthea will also have been fully aware that although she is not sleeping in Israel, she is no doubt sleeping somewhere that she will be raised at the return of her master, where God Willing she can be raised and share eternity with those who love her in God's Kingdom.

I pass on my love to all of her family (she and Donald have quite a clan) at this time and I pray they find comfort in knowing that so many people cared about her and continue to care about them.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Paul and Janet Cresswell wrote

May our loving Father of glory keep you all and comfort you in the days that remain until all tears are wiped away in that time when families are reunited in everlasting love in the presence of the Altogether Lovely One our Redeemer.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Donald Pearce posted a picture
Comment on this image
Donald Pearce posted a picture
Comment on this image
James Prasad wrote

Our thoughts and prayers are with Pearce family
with much love in our Lord
on behalf of New Westminster Ecclesia,BC Canada.

Report abuse
Comment on this message
Donald Pearce posted a picture
Comment on this image