Shirley Watkins, 1932/2008.
Shirley died on 18th October 2008 following a period battling
against Myasthenia Gravis.
Shirley was borne on 4th September 1932
at Thorpe Bay
Around the outbreak of the Second World War her family moved nearer
to London, and Shirley attended Loughton Girls High School. When she was about 18 she went to the
rehabilitation and assessment centre at Torquay
where she met Dez, a tall, dark, handsome
Welshman. They married and had two
children, Janet and Alan.
Their first years of married
life were extremely hard, particularly when Dez
had a spell in hospital with TB, but they worked hard and eventually
managed to buy a house in Barnet where they lived until they retired. At this point they moved to St. Annes not far away from their daughter Jan and her
husband Bruce who live in Blackpool.
died, Shirley found the upkeep of the bungalow and large garden, which they
had prized, too much to cope with and she bought herself a smaller property
where she lived for the rest of her life, apart from some spells in
hospital and nursing homes when her health was declining.
How can one describe such a
many facetted character as Shirley?
She was compassionate, warm and caring; She was full of fun with an impish
sense of humour; She was active in
mind and body, always on the move, never still for more than a few
moments; She was also thoughtful and
strong and hated any form of injustice or discrimination.
She was also very interested
in politics and she twice stood as a liberal candidate in Blackpool council elections, narrowly
failing to be elected. One of
Shirley's proudest achievements was the setting up of a swimming club for
the disabled in Blackpool
which she helped to run for many years.
Shirley did not pretend to
be a great chess player, but she always enjoyed the tussle. She learned to play at a time when Dez was becoming less mobile owing to his heart
condition. They spent many happy
hours with the chess board between them and she was always excited when she
managed the odd win.
We shall miss her and our
sympathy goes out to Jan and Bruce, Alan and Anna and to all her family.
Should anyone wish to make a
donation to the Myesthenia Gravis Association in
memory of Shirley, their address is: Normanton
Road, Derby, DE23 6UQ.
MGA, First Floor, Southgate Business Centre,
Credit card donations can be made by telephone on 01332 290219.
B.C.A. Publicity officer.