14 January 1940 to 10 September 2018
Doreen was a much loved wife and mother who always had a ready smile.
Doreen came from a musical family and enjoyed playing the piano from an early age. Her father, a clergyman, played the organ and sang, and her mother studied operatic singing at the Northern College of Music, now RNCM.
Doreen was born in 1940 and lived in Biggin, a small village near Hartington in Derbyshire, and later at Cromford, near Matlock.
At the age of eight, she won a scholarship to attend Abbots Bromley, a girls’ public school with strong links to the Church of England. She enjoyed her time there, though conditions were quite basic after the war.
Doreen’s father died when she was 13 and her mother moved to Portsmouth where she had relatives.
At school, Doreen had an inspirational piano teacher called Miss Wadeley who saw her potential and encouraged her to work on her music. When she was 18, Doreen went to study the piano and cello at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After graduation, she got a teaching qualification and for the next two years taught music at a girls’ school in Switzerland near Montreaux.
Doreen and John met at St Jude’s church in Portsmouth and married in 1965. They moved to Manchester and Doreen taught music at the Hollies Convent Grammar School in West Didsbury for seven years, playing the piano for the annual Gilbert and Sullivan opera. After the births of David and Sarah, she taught the piano at home and at Xaverian College for a number of years.
Doreen was a loving mother and the family went on many holidays to the Isle of Wight, the Lake District and all over Europe. She was also mad about cats.
Doreen was a loyal member of the St James and Emmanuel church family for almost 40 years. For many years she accompanied church music groups and in 1988 she played for the church performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noah’s Fludde’.
Doreen’s main musical outlet for many years was in the Lake District. She had piano lessons with John Clegg, a concert pianist, and played at his Master Classes at Higham Hall near Keswick. She also played at the ‘Art of Song’ course attended by a group of 30 or so singers. She made many good friends on these courses and enjoyed working on her piano playing and collaborating with other musicians.
Sadly, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008 and gradually became disabled, eventually losing the ability to play the piano. She bore this loss with fortitude and good humour. She always had a ready smile. For the last 18 months of her life, Doreen was well cared for by the staff at Dermott Murphy House in Withington. She passed away in September and her family will miss her very much.