16 October 1939 to 12 October 2020
Denise was kind, gentle and devoted to those she loved.
This homily was shared by Revd Nick Bundock at the funeral at St James.
Denise was born in Blackpool – she would have been born in Manchester but war had been declared and it was safer out of the city. Denise’s family were from Longsight and so she went to a local school – St Agnes Church of England, although she was later moved to by her mother to Birchfield’s school, where she felt Denise would receive a better education. Her mother spotted something about Denise, she was a very bright girl and especially good with numbers.
In 1947, after the war, when Denise was eight, the family moved – not far, still in Longsight, but to Meldon Road.
Denise was in the Brownies and then the Girl Guides – which met at her school and it’s here that she became friends with a life-long friend, Lynne.
This would become a theme in Denise’s life – she would form deep and lasting friendships.
Another friend of lasting significance was her old Sunday school teacher, Ivy. Ivy moved to Colwyn Bay in the fulness of time but this did not stop the friendship and Denise would regularly make trips to north Wales to see her friend and was heartbroken when she passed away in 2014.
Denise spent four years of her education at Withington Girls School, which has always had a reputation for high standards of teaching.
At 13 years of age Denise was confirmed at St Agnes’ Church and spent the rest of her life as a devout Christian. In fact this was one of the defining features of her life, was her incredibly strong faith. It was here that Denise made another significant friendship, this time with Rosemary.
In the fulness of time Denise left the world of education and went on to employment. She was extremely numerate and over the course of her life worked in several bookkeeping departments and was noted for accuracy.
Denise never married, so this meant that friendship, family and church were important pillars in Denise’s life. Graham and Julie – her niece and nephew – describe how they were like children to her and she was like a second mother to them. This devotion was very much in evidence in the latter years of Denise’s life when her practical care fell to family.
Denise was a caring woman and devoted to those she loved. She looked after her own mother with great diligence and after she passed away she moved into a flat in Levenshulme with her brother Malcolm.
Denise enjoyed going to the aquatic centre in Manchester three times a week where she would meet friends – Maureen and Rose among them.
Graham remembers that Denise had a fear of flying and so he took her on a fear of flying course so she could experience going up in a plane. She loved it so much that Graham then took her to Heathrow to visit her friend Rosemary.
In the fullness of time Denise and Malcolm moved to Holt House in Didsbury where they were very happy. And this is when Denise became a committed member of St James and Emmanuel church.
Denise would regularly attend services at St James in Didsbury, just a short walk from where she lived. But she would also make a journey each morning to the Parish Centre in the centre of Didsbury to join the clergy for morning prayers.
Everyone loved having Denise with them for Morning Prayer and she was always up for doing one of the readings, even if it had some very tricky words to pronounce.
She would regularly ask us to pray for her family, particularly when they were poorly or struggling in some way.
Everyone will have their own memories of Denise – each one of them important. Most of us remember a woman who was kind, gentle and who had a beautiful spirit. She was a true Christian woman and faithful disciple. She was honest and loving and very humble. Although our paths only crossed for a few years it was a privilege to know her.
Her move to Didsbury was also the last time that Denise lived freely and independently.
She was deeply shaken by the loss of sister Margaret and her brother Malcolm and this seemed to precipitate her own decline.
Graham would bring Denise to church for as long as he could, but in the end Denise needed more specialised care. And we’re truly grateful for Eden Mansions Nursing Home in Styal, where she lived from August 2019 until she died just short of her 81st birthday on the 12 October 2020.