As with a lot of funeral addresses, we learned things about the deceased which we wished we had known and been able to talk to them about in their life with us.
Gladys died 12 days short of her 107th birthday and must have wanted her lifespan to be shorter as although her mind was active her physical body was incapacitated for a number of years.
Ulrike had been able to visit and say prayers with her shortly before she died.
The number of people who knew her and were able to attend her funeral was rather low, but Denise, Janet and I attended from the church which occupied so much her later life until she became housebound.
However, she maintained a keen interest in us – all magazines, Church meeting minutes, accounts etc. were taken or sent to her by Denise as requested.
Gladys was born in 1912 in Kent and moved to Woodford to work at the Wilfred Lawson Hotel before marrying in 1937 and being widowed in 1954 leaving her with four children under the age of 17.
Her husband David Evans had owned a coach company and was active in local Conservative, Masonic and Rotary circles which led to Gladys being a founder member of the local Inner Wheel.
At the funeral tea at the Woodford Golf Club we exchanged memories with Jill Barton of the Inner Wheel of being hauled over the coals by Gladys for slips in procedure for our respective organisations.
Looking at the membership roll for the church, we found that although Gladys moved to Woodford in 1937, she did not become a member of the church until 1976 when she was in her sixties.
Janet thinks she would have attended the Welsh church in Leytonstone with her husband and when widowed she came to Woodford Green United Free but remaining an adherent for a number of years before becoming a member.
She gave the church well over 30 years of faithful service on the Women’s Council and as the Church Housekeeper.
Gladys was fierce but faithful and cared about our fellowship and has been the subject of lots of shared memories among our members.
Woodford Green URC