Monica Anne Lowson (18 Dec 1947 - 14 Aug 2021)

Funeral Director

Holy Trinity Church, Acaster Malbis Cowper Lane York YO23 2UQ
27th Aug 2021
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Donations in memory of Monica can be made via Virgin Money.

In Monica’s own words . . .

I was born in St Jude's nursing home at Bitterne, Southampton, on December 18th, 1947. We lived at 44, Mousehole Lane, Bitterne. My first school was Glenfield Infants, followed by Beechwood Junior School. At age 11, having passed the 11 plus, I was given one of a few free places at the Atherley, which was part of the Church Schools Company in Southampton. At the same time we moved house in 1959 to the Vicarage at Marchwood, 7 miles out of town on the other side of Southampton Water.

From 1966 to 1969 I was a student at St Hild's College, Durham, part of Durham University, to do a teaching course. After qualifying in Maths and Education I went to teach at Red House Preparatory School, Norton, (Stockton on Tees) and had a small flat at Hartington Road (an area which people said 'used to be very nice'!). It was an enjoyable 4 years in a very sociable setting.

After 3 of those years I got married and moved to Roker, Sunderland, and commuted to Teesside for a year. My next teaching job was at Fulwell Girls' School, a secondary modern which would be phased out after 2 years and pupils then sent to Comprehensives. As these schools were coming to an end, I decided to have a career change and joined the Civil Service as a tax officer. During my time there I became pregnant with Andrew, and so went on maternity leave, and he was born in February 1977. I didn't actually return to the Revenue.

My next employment was a bit of part time work at Gateway Nursery, Sunderland, as an assistant, and Andrew could attend at the same time. This continued until I went on maternity leave again to have Richard, in May '81 (19th).

When we moved to Kendal I did a bit of teaching of communication skills at Kendal College, but was fairly fully occupied with looking after the boys, and doing bits of secretarial work for Geoff, since I'd done a typing course, and he was then working for USPG, which involved quite a lot of hospitality for overseas visitors, especially from churches in India and Africa.

After our move to Acaster Malbis on the outskirts of York, I began some teaching for the Learning Support Service, and worked at Queen Anne's, 2 junior schools at Tadcaster and Lowfield School in York. This continued for over 12 years. It was only when I was reflecting more recently that I realised of all the places I taught at, three of them don't exist anymore. I'm sure it was nothing to do with me !

At Tynemouth (from Jan 2006) I only worked in a voluntary capacity, but involved myself in parish life in as many ways as I felt able, alongside travelling back on a regular basis to York and Northallerton for family reasons. I was on a rota for Sunday School, and quite early on there was a joint effort with musicians, singers and others to produce a short musical, Jonah Man Jazz, which was fun. Quite a few years previously I'd been involved in the singing, at a production of it at Red House School, Norton, and remembered how much the children enjoyed it.

In terms of my interests, whilst at Tynemouth I belonged to the gardening group, helping to look after the church grounds, and also we formed an Eco group and worked to achieve the Eco congregation award. I was also a member of Mothers' Union, who were active in many ways and had some very interesting speakers and diocesan events. Making cakes and soups etc were very regular activities, but always had a valuable feeling of folk working together for a worthwhile cause, whether for the church itself or a charitable fund.

Early on at Tynemouth I accepted an invitation to join a group from a small charity (Wells for India) and travel to Rajasthan to evaluate some of their water projects. This was both revealing and enriching, from visiting people living in abject poverty who offered refreshments from their meagre supplies, to seeing exotic, ornate palaces, and then being alongside people of great spirituality, and trying to absorb some of India's history and traditions.

A number of years later I joined a group visiting Botswana, Newcastle diocese having quite a long standing link with the diocese of Botswana. Here again we were visiting projects to see how well the allocated funds from the UK were being used. The warm welcomes and generosity were overwhelming nearly everywhere we went, and no Africans ever stand still to sing!

Retirement has been a huge contrast to every other chapter of my life. The three grandchildren have given me much joy and amusement, as well as using up a lot of my energy! While Chantal was working beyond Leeds, and often in London, I was happy to be available to fetch and carry from school - it's always a pleasure to have the children come and play at the house. They make me laugh.

I feel a compulsion to be out somewhere every day, so its important to have things in the diary. It's important to try and stay well, to keep the brain active, and to be of use to other people, so badminton and swimming, (sometimes a bit of table tennis and walking too), U3A Android and computer groups, baking for a community cafe, gardening, and meeting with friends and family, all fill a lot of space and in their own ways bring a lot of joy.

Kim Wheeler wrote

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Monica. I helped at Sunday School when Monica was in Tynemouth. A lovely, kind person. It was a shock to hear about her passing 🥰

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  • Thank you Kim for your kind comments. She was passionate about children and Sunday school was something she was proud of at Tynemouth. All the best. Andrew

    Posted by Andrew on 22/09/2021 Report abuse
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Mark Rennie wrote

I first met Andrew when both he and one of my treasured Goddaughters, had met as Undergraduates at Northumbria University.
I met Monica for the first at their wedding and then quite frequently between then and the start of the pandemic.
The world was a better place wth Monica, and the poorer with her passing
May she Rest in Peace.

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