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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2019 issue

Wendy Clark 1943-2019

However, in October 1962, Wendy was dismayed, when in response to an emergency and with only a weekend to think it over, Andrew took up a post in Germany, working alongside an agent in Cologne.  The following summer, Wendy holidayed with Andrew in the Black Forest, they became engaged in the autumn and then, following Wendy’s 21st birthday, they married on 9th May 1964.

Wendy moved over to Germany where Andrew continued to work – a brave move for a young bride who spoke very little German. She had to shop in German in the days before supermarkets and soon had to attend medical appointments, also in German, for anti-natal care. Returning to the UK six weeks before, Judith was born in Coventry in a flat overlooking the Memorial Park, with the extended family all within a few miles. Perfect you might have thought – however, Wendy and Andrew have always relished a challenge and having managed to secure a new position, the young couple and six week old baby Judith, moved 120 miles north to Halifax, where they knew no one! Undeterred, Wendy and Andrew went along to the local church, making friends through the curate’s wife; Wendy became an afternoon Mothers’ Union member – an association that Wendy enjoyed and which she continued to enjoy for the rest of her life.

Unfortunately, the company in Halifax struggled, however Andrew was able to find work back in the Midlands, allowing them to move back to their home town of Coventry, where Fiona was born soon after. Some five years of stability then ensued, the girls started school in Coventry and the young family were able to enjoy having their own family nearby.

In January 1973, with the opportunity of promotion, Wendy and Andrew moved again – this time to Peterborough, a so called new town. With many families in the same position, Wendy and Andrew made new friendships, joining the local rambling club, helping to set up a folk dance club and frequently finding an excuse to party. They joined the cathedral congregation and matured as parents. It was during this period that Wendy rekindled her enjoyment of the Guiding movement. She started to help at the local Brownie pack and soon became ‘Tawnie Owl’. As her guiding friendships grew, do did her roles – eventually rising to District Commissioner. Her passion however lay in the pack holidays and guide camps and having qualified as ‘Quarter Master’ and ‘First Aider’ she was always in demand. It was during this period, that Wendy and Andrew also became a host and hostess for CHA rambling holidays, particularly enjoying holidays at Stanley Gill House in Eskdale, where Wendy was able to make everyone feel welcome and at home in her own inimitable way.

The girls completed their secondary schooling in Peterborough, before Wendy and Andrew were on the move again – this time relocating, with Fiona, to Waterlooville where they have remained ever since.  Wendy and Andrew threw themselves into the local community, joining the congregation of St George’s, rambling with the local CHA group, dancing briefly with the local folk dance club and becoming part of the German church through their own past experience of living in Germany.  

Whilst here in Waterlooville, Wendy decided she needed a new career direction and found her perfect job as a carer – what better for Wendy than the opportunity to be paid for talking to people all day! She loved her work at Ramsdean House and thrived as a carer, going on to add care in the community to her skill set. Wendy saw her ‘clients’ as members of her extended family and thought nothing of getting up at six, always with a cup of tea from Andrew, to help someone else get up or going back later in the day to help them get into bed.

In 1995 Wendy became a granny for the first time when Conor was born, followed soon after by Dec and then Niamh. She loved spending time with the grandchildren, always being happy to babysit for the weekend and was immensely proud of everything they did. For her part, granny would repair a favourite jumper, read a well-loved story, stuff the Christmas turkey with her popular sausage stuffing – not a job for a vegetarian daughter (sorry kids, it’s nut roast all round this year) - or, in the later years, endure raucous Christmas games nights.

When she eventually retired, Wendy fulfilled one of her many dreams – to own a camper van. She and Andrew, very much novices of the caravanning world, threw themselves into the rally scene and enjoyed many trips both in the UK and in Germany.  In addition, Wendy and Andrew were able to make two extended trips to Australia to visit Wendy’s brother Peter and his family as well as trips to places such as Canada and South Korea. Wendy loved taking photographs and so the family are blessed with so many photos as a record of her adventures.

Thankfully, despite the shock of her sudden passing, Wendy did not suffer and whilst in hospital during her last days still managed to chat to everyone around her and make an impression. The family have received so many messages of sympathy, describing Wendy’s caring nature and how she would often go the extra mile to help people – this has been of great comfort to Andrew and all the family.

Wendy loved her food, she was scatty and often on the other side of punctual,  however her legacy is one of kindness, understanding and the desire to help – Wendy will be remembered with much love and affection by so many.

Fiona adds:

Glynn & I are overwhelmed by the kindness shown to us following the very sudden death of my Mum Wendy.

We were totally unaware that she was so poorly, having no idea that she could die following a week of excellent care in QA hospital. On Friday May 3rd her death was very sudden and peaceful.

Thank you to all the people who came to her funeral and the wake at the Brookfield Hotel.

Many people at church will miss her, she willingly did so much to help people. Already in eight weeks there have been two celebration cakes needing cutting up for sharing with wine or coffee.

She is reunited in heaven with many friends from Church, Pam Dinneen makes the tea, Margot Farrell made a cake, Bronwen & Wendy P are there with anecdotes as teachers! A proper tea party x

May she rest in peace, no rest she will continue to take care of everyone.

Born on 25 February 1943, in war torn Coventry, Wendy was the youngest child and longed for daughter of Hilda and George. Wendy’s brothers, Barry and Peter were 10 and 8 years older as George was adamant that they shouldn’t bring any more children into a world on the edge of war. Wendy had a happy childhood, she travelled daily by public transport to the Convent in Kenilworth, where she thrived on the sport rather than the rigours of Maths and English. Wendy enjoye d hockey and badminton and loved roller skating with her Jacko roller skates.  She was a keen member of the brownies and guides and enjoyed all the camping and outdoor activities. Her father George was an enthusiastic rugby player and Wendy spent many Saturdays at the rugby club cheering on both him and her brother Barry. The family spent many holidays in Bridport, Sidmouth and Weston Super Mare, which Wendy used to talk about fondly.

On leaving school, George was able to secure Wendy a position with his company, Alfred Herbert, where he worked as the chief buyer. She learnt to type and one of her many duties was to record the names of overseas visitors that the directors would be entertaining at lunchtime and to ensure the correct national flag was displayed. This task required her to go to the export sales office on a daily basis, where a young man, Andrew, gave her the information she needed … and so love blossomed.