Obituaries will be added to this page once a month on the last Friday of the month. They will remain on the page for three months, and will then be removed.
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Patricia Doidge – SI Harrogate and District
Tricia passed away on 22nd May 2020 after a long illness. Tricia joined S.I. Harrogate & District in 1994 and embraced all aspects of Soroptimism, she was a leading light in our club and organisation. A well deserved tribute, Tricia was awarded Honorary Membership of the Club. She gave loyal and distinguished service to Soroptimist International for 24 years. We will forever miss her.
Dolores O’Faherty – SI Bray and District
Dolores O’Faherty, long-standing member and former President of SI Bray & District, Republic of Ireland. Dolores was a retired lecturer in nutrition and dietetics, Dublin Institute of Technology, and passed away peacefully at home in her 90th year.
Joan Morrison-Lyden – SI Woking and District
Our much loved member Joan died on 21st April 2020. Joan was a member of SI Woking for 33 years and was valued by all in the Club. Joan’s intellect, wit, clarity and grace added much to SI Woking’s development and proceedings over all those years.
Joan had a long and successful career as a hospital social worker (almoner). Joan’s skill, wisdom and kindness must have served the wellbeing of many through her work as it did her grateful friends at SI Woking & District.
Pauline Pearsall – SI Stafford
Pauline Pearsall died on 1 May, 2020. She had been a prominent member of SI Stafford for 40 years, having been Club President (twice) and President of Midland Chase Region in 1999/2000, as well as Region PAC Officer. She was the Region’s Representative on the SIGBI Benevolent Fund for many years, and was Secretary of the Benevolent Fund for 6 years.
Pauline was Assistant Director of Nursing Services at Stafford District General Hospital when she retired from the NHS. Members remember with great affection her warmth, kindness and generosity, and the speed with which she came to the assistance of anyone who needed help. She was an active supporter of many local causes, especially Katharine House Hospice.
She will be greatly missed, by the Club and the Region.
For a more detailed tribute, please go to: https://sigbi.org/stafford/files/2020/05/Pauline-Pearsall-Tribute-for-website-final.pdf
Sylvia Reynolds – SI Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead
Sylvia joined the Club in January 1996. She was President in 2001-02 and took an active part in the Club being Secretary for many years and was on the Fundraising Committee until ill health forced her to give up. She attended many regional meetings and enjoyed going to conferences. Sylvia died on 6 June and will be greatly missed.
Margaret Skerrett – SI Bristol
It is with sadness, affection and respect that we report the death of our only Honorary member Margaret Skerrett. She died peacefully in hospital on 12th June after a short illness at the age of 95.
Margaret, as Miss M. Holgate, joined SI Bristol in 1958 in the days when most members wore hats and gloves to meetings, smoking was the norm, with ashtrays provided, and members addressed each other formally. Most of the members at that time were in full employment, and when they reached retirement age they might be invited to stay on only if they were thought to be useful! Margaret enjoyed the aims and projects of the Club although at first found the formality quite daunting.
Her category was Horticultural Statistician, working at the Long Ashton Research station where she met her future husband Professor John Skerrett. They married in 1988 and enjoyed an active life together, sharing many common interests. Sadly John died of cancer in 1994.
Within the Soroptimist club Margaret avoided taking office as she always felt herself to be a “back room person”. However she willingly took an active part in club, visiting our various projects, working on committees and on reception, loyally supporting SI Bristol and attending meetings even in the last few months of her life.
She was a gentle person, kind, thoughtful, always smartly dressed, anxious to be no trouble, a true lady who nevertheless was active and determined, taking her almost daily exercise even during lockdown, despite a number of falls in the last few years.
Margaret took a great delight in her family watching her nephews and nieces grow up. We send to her family our very sincere sympathy, and we will all greatly miss such a kind and gentle friend and member at our meetings.
Barbara Shand – SI Bromley
Barbara Shand who died on 12th June 2020 joined SI Beckenham (now SI Bromley) in 1988. She had combined the career of teaching children with special needs, an active family life and a concern for disadvantaged people.
Her amused, slightly self-deprecating manner when raising issues at club meetings concealed considerable thought and analysis. More recently she ‘specialised’ in the activities, or lack of them, of the local NHS.
Her home was full of books and it was due to her that we have a book group currently reading its 127th book. She will be remembered as a loyal, warm, kind friend who cared.
Vera Richardson – SI Anguilla
Vera Richardson died on April 18, 2020. She was a founding member of SI Anguilla. She was a valued member of the club and served on many committees, and attended various overseas meetings during her tenure. She will be dearly missed.
Heather White – SI Kettering and District
Heather White, a member of SI Kettering & District for 32 years, passed away in April after a long illness. Heather was a very active member of club and region. She was well known by the SIBGI family for her work in Human Resources.
Muriel Joyce Abrahams – SI Bilston and District
Joyce joined S.I. Dudley in 1970, transferred to S.I. Bilston and District in 1999 and was a very active member, President and organiser of many social and fund raising events including Fashion Shows. Joyce took a great interest in members welfare and attended many annual Conferences including Barbados. A uniquely memorable lady.
Wilhemina Mitchell (Min) Watt – SI Yeovil, Sherborne and Districts
It is with sadness that members of Yeovil, Sherborne & Districts mourn the loss of an Honorary Member, Min Watt who died on the 28th April, aged 95.
Min joined the then SI Yeovil Club on 15th April, 1969. She was the very much respected Secretary to the Editor of the local newspaper. Min was a committed member, serving on all the club committees. She held office as President 1974/75 and went on to serve as Treasurer and secretary for full terms.
Min continued to be an active member until frailty necessitated her going into a care home where she maintained an interest in Soroptimist activities.
Doris Lynn – SI Croydon and District
As Club President in 1989, Doris raised funds for the Croydon Voluntary Association for the Blind. She also served as Club Treasurer, organised friendship link events and membership drives. Doris was the Mayor’s Secretary in Croydon and also had an interest in the Royal College of Music. She moved to Chichester to live closer to family members and transferred to Chichester club in 2012. Several of our club members knew her well and spoke highly of her activities and dedication to SI Croydon and District.
Beryl Bedford – SI Kidderminster and District
Beryl Bedford, SI Kidderminster & District, died on 20 March 2020. An active member joining in 1988 as Deputy Head at King Charles I school, leaving in 2009. She served as Treasurer and championed the Club’s local Town Trail leaflets for assisted wheelchair users while representing the Club on local groups.
Anne Thom – SI Newcastle upon Tyne
SI Newcastle upon Tyne are sad to announce the death of Anne Thom, in March 2020, aged 84 years. Anne who was a solicitor (private practice) gave 59 years of service to Soroptimism. A former Club President, 1986-87, she remained a valued member who will be long remembered.
Barbara Burkey – SI Heswall and District
Barbara set up a degree course for nurses in Malta and was awarded the Maltese Cross. President of SI Heswall in 2007, she campaigned to stop sunbed usage for under 18 year olds, resulting in a change to Government Legislation. She left the Club 4 years ago due to ill health.
Jean Bacon – SI Heswall and District
Jean passed away suddenly on 2nd March. A retired teacher, she was an active member of SI Heswall and had chaired social, fundraising and membership committees. President in 2009 and organised the Club’s Charter 60th year celebrations.