Tribute to Jean Edwardes

Jean Daisy Edwardes was born in Camden Town on 21st February 1927. She started work in the Kayser Bondor factory where she perfected her skills as a seamstress, which she used for the rest of her life along with many other creative activities. She had taught Art and Needlework at Maryville Convent and also worked for Bexley Council as Manager and Senior craft instructor. She was adept at painting, tapestry and pottery.

She married Peter on 15th April 1950, having been received into the Catholic Church at Westminster Cathedral shortly before. They were devout parishioners of St. Stephen’s for over 60 years and Peter died 8 months after their Golden Wedding in 2000.

She was a loving, forgiving and generous person who let many waifs and strays into her life and home. In the early 1960s in Lynmere Road there were 10 children (not all her own!) living in the 4 bedroomed home and the twin-tub washing machine never stopped. Cousins also came to stay in the summer holidays. In 2009 Jean moved into her smaller, more manageable bungalow in King Harolds Way, where she spent much of her time making very creative cards.

After a spell in hospital in 2016 she was unable to return to her bungalow and went into a care home which was not a very happy experience for her. She celebrated her 90th birthday at the Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath with all her family and it was there she met her 10 day-old great-granddaughter, Rebecca, a great joy for her. She moved to Heathfield Court Nursing Home in May 2017 and this proved to be a loving, caring place where she was loved by all the staff. She will be remembered for her lovely smile that would light up the room.

Fortunately Jean had written many of her life stories down and her son Martin had painstakingly typed them out and put them on his website. She reminisced, “I have seen so many landmarks in my life: I have seen the Pope, visited foreign countries, saw a man land on the moon, the invention of TV, microwave ovens, modern hoovers, washing machines and plastic being used for all sorts of things; record players and discs, colour photography, electric sewing machines, cine cameras, fridge freezers, ball point pens to name just a few, never mind all the vast developments in the medical field too numerous to mention.” She appreciated everything and lived her life in gratitude for so much.

She was a loving wife, mum to 6, grandma to 12 and great-grandma to 6, with another on the way. Tributes were read out at her cremation from her loving family in Australia. Thanks go to her daughter, Nicola Warren, and all the family for arranging a lovely funeral in such difficult times.

She will be missed by many, including those who were her friends from the Contact the Elderly group, many of whom were her friends from this parish.

Freda Vine