THE funeral service for Norah (Pat) Fitchett, of Empingham Road, Stamford, took place at Marholm Crematorium, Canon Hayden Smart officiating. Mrs Fitchett died at her home, aged 75.
Pat was born and brought up in the Layton area of Blackpool, Lancashire, and attended Layton Primary and Blackpool Collegiate School for Girls. She was a bright pupil and an automatic choice for the school ‘Spelling Bee’ team which was a popular form of quiz in the 1930s and 1940s. This ability lasted a lifetime and she was always the oracle to turn to when anyone wanted to know the correct spelling of a word or a quiz answer. She was never wrong. A serious bout of rheumatic fever with a long layoff from school prevented her from taking up further education and she left school to become a GPO telephone operator, one of the original ‘Hello’ girls operating manual switchboards.
The childhood illness left her with damage to the mitral valve and necessitated surgery in the early days of open heart surgery. Married in 1961 she moved with husband Tom to Stamford. When her two children were both at school she returned to work part-time as a retail shop assistant, first at Duncomb’s in the High Street and later at Harrison and Dunn, until retirement. She had a good encyclopedic memory of the shop contents and was frequently stopped in the High Street, even long after retirement, to be asked if the shop stocked various items, to which the answer was invariably ‘yes’.
Pat was one of the original members of the Stamford Survey Group, which collated historic documents and photographs and assisted in archaeological reconstruction, and was a member of the Townswomen’s Guild.
Despite her poor health, Pat always had a positive outlook on life and was rarely heard to complain. She was the ‘hub’ for the family who everyone turned to when they needed a sympathetic ear or some practical help.
She leaves her widower Thomas, children Edwin and Melanie, grandchildren Matthew and Kathryn and son-in-law Myles.
Family mourners included: Tom Fitchett (widower), Edwin Fitchett, Melanie Greenslade, Myles Greenslade, Matthew Greenslade, Kathryn Greenslade, Olwyn Davies, Christopher Davies, Jack Davies, Emily Davies, Peter and Shirley Waldren.
Sympathisers included: Catherine Whitwell, Barry and Pauline Cunnington (representing Charles and Hazel Bennett), Ron and Muriel Hallett, Andrew Lee (Duncomb’s), Christine Burrows (Harrison and Dunn), Michael and Sheila Lee (Duncomb’s and Harrison and Dunn), Bob and Jean Maker, Gerald Bradshaw (Bradshaw and Grice families), Mont and Dorothy Baker, David Wise (Cicely and Lucy Wise), Peter Wise (Christ Church), Daphne Wise (Mary Womack and family), Mary Howell, Arthur and Judy Popple, John and Lynne Hepworth, Angela and Philip Rudkin; Pat Banks, Freda Elliott, Ina Bacon and Ruby Smith (TWG), Max and Eileen Winslow, Anne Wallace (Fred Wallace and family, Mr and Mrs Charlie Smith), Maureen Marcavage, Mr and Mrs S Hutchesson (Mrs M Bull), Sue Massingham (Ann Walker TWG), Mick and Bridget Carr, Donna Youngs (Simon Youngs and family), Stuart and Liz Brown (Kurt, Guy and families, Barbara Wigfall), Albert and Pat Barlow, Danny and Joan Brown, Joan and Mike Allam (Catherine Neighbour), Margaret and Colin Bradshaw (Mark and James Bradshaw), Alex Jarvie (Joyce Jarvie), Mr D Hare, Mrs Doreen Laughton, Lily and Tony Hitch (Pat Tibbert), Clem and Pamela Walden, Phil and Pam Baker, Joseph Wise (Cicely and Lucy Wise).