TRIBUTES have been paid to a Moorlands community stalwart who sadly passed away aged 88 last month. Brenda Stubbs tragically died after a fire in her home in Alton on Friday, December 10. Here her long-term friend Chris Mellor pays tribute to Brenda:
TRIBUTES have been paid to a Moorlands community stalwart who sadly passed away aged 88 last month.
Brenda Stubbs tragically died after a fire in her home in Alton on Friday, December 10.
Here her long-term friend Chris Mellor pays tribute to Brenda:
Born on the October 9, 1933, in Moneystone near Oakamoor, Brenda was the only child of George Stubbs and Gladys May Goldstraw.
In the 1939 Census, the family are recorded living in Vicarage Row, Alton, and later they moved to a bungalow in Castle Hill, Alton.
Brenda attended St Peter’s School in Alton, and was one of the first pupils there to have the opportunity to take her ‘11-Plus’ exam.
She passed and in September 1945 attended Uttoxeter Girls’ High School.
After leaving the High School, Brenda trained to be a teacher, travelling from Alton to Stafford by bus. Later, she learned to drive and was able to travel by car.
She taught mathematics, firstly at Riverway Girls School in Stafford, and then at Windsor Park School in Uttoxeter.
A former pupil there recalled: “Miss Stubbs was one of my most influential teachers.
“She had quite a commanding presence in class. She demanded respect, and as far as I recall, she was always regarded with quiet deference by her students, even some of the more boisterous ones.
“Despite this, she was always approachable and interested in us.”
Brenda never married. Her father George passed away in 1953, and her mother Gladys in 1985. Afterwards, Brenda lived alone in her bungalow. Her closest relatives were first cousins from the and her ‘family’ were her friends, neighbours and members of the congregation from St Peter’s Church, Alton.
In Brenda’s lifetime, there have been nine vicars at St Peter’s Church, and much of her life was spent in serving and supporting the church.
Aside from the vicar’s job, she held most of the other roles at St Peter’s Church at one time or another and retained the important roles of Verger and PCC Secretary and Administrator until she died.
Brenda was not afraid of ‘mucking-in’ and getting her hands dirty. Not only was she on the brass-cleaning rota right to the end, but for many years, during the first week of the school holidays, she had loved taking part in the Children’s Holiday Club activities, and again she was a stalwart at photocopying all that needed doing.
In the 1990s, she successfully completed the Bishop’s Certificate Course, and served on many committees, including The Church of England Deanery Synod.
She liked to organise and participate in social and fundraising events, and was always generous with her time, regularly making financial donations to the church and other charities.
She had also been an active member of the Mothers’ Union at Cotton, and the Women’s Institute in Alton.
Brenda attended virtually all of the services held at St Peter’s, be it worship, baptisms, marriages or funerals.
She was always there to organise and prepare things and to give support to others. She always seemed to be at church, as when one walked through the grounds, she was very often just coming or going.
Brenda loved to chat about what was going on, be it locally in the village, in the world, or just current affairs, and she had an excellent memory.
Having lived in Alton almost all of her life, she was a fount of knowledge for past events, and the families who lived in the village.
She was quite a character, and her sense of humour and traditional values could be very entertaining.
Every Friday, without fail, she would go to The Old Stables Hairdressing Salon in Alton for a shampoo and set, and of course a chat.
Baking was an important part of her life, and she used to bake lots of cakes, particularly for coffee mornings and other fund raising events. She was an excellent cook. Her fruit cakes and mince pies were exceptional.
Brenda loved talking on the phone. It was important to make sure you had a good free slot of time before phoning, or when receiving her call, as it could take a while!
The day before she died, Brenda had been for a lovely Christmas lunch at the Ramblers Retreat with 17 of her friends. She really enjoyed going there and thoroughly enjoyed her lunch that day, along with a glass of her favourite wine.
On the Monday after her death, the Alton Bellringers rang the bells half muffled as a mark of respect for Brenda’s passing.
Brenda was very much treasured and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her.
Brenda’s funeral will be held at St Peter’s Church, Alton at 11am on Tuesday, January 25.
Enquires can be made to J. P. Keates and Son Funeral Directors at Bank House, 37 Bank Street, Cheadle, ST10 1NR or via telephone on 01538 752164.
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