Margaret SIMKISS (85 ) October 9th Gulval
Margaret was born in Birmingham. After school she worked in accounts for Royal Insurance and then later for Social Services and for the University, where her husband Barry worked. Barrie’s family had relocated their business to Cornwall after being bombed out, so it was a natural place for them to retire to. Barry died not long afterwards in 1994 but Margaret found plenty to occupy herself in the garden, waking and taking part in village activities such as the Welcome Club and the Whist Drives. She died after a short illness bravely borne. Margaret chatted to anyone, was a kind person and made good friends, while remaining essentially a private person.
Jean ROFF (94) October 12th Heamoor
Jean was born in Newhaven, Sussex. Dad was in the Royal Navy, and she spent much of her childhood in Gillingham, Kent. She left school at the age of 14 when the family moved to Swansea. Jean had wanted to train to be a hairdresser but family circumstances and attitudes of the time dictated that she earn her keep, so she undertook a variety of housekeeping jobs (including kitchen maid and general housemaid / lady’s companion) before joining the WRNS (Women’s Royal Naval Service) during WWII. She met John at a dance at Helensburgh. They were married on 21 July 1945 at Mullion Church, as her parents had moved there. The newlyweds spent most of the next 10 years in Scotland; home was near wherever John’s work took him on Scottish hydro-electric projects. In 1955, her husband was ‘posted’ to a major new hydro-electric project in Kariba, Southern Rhodesia, and Jean (with 4 children in tow!) flew out to join him 3 months later, early in 1956 After 5 years in Africa, it was time to take a short break in the U.K. before moving on to Iran. In early 1961 they returned to Penzance, John returning to Iran; they only saw each other for 2 months each year). Jean made many good friends and was a founder member of the St Paul’s Church Young Wives Group. In 1969 Jean & John moved back up to the Highlands of Scotland for the next 5 years. John was in increasingly poor health and so retired early. They moved back to the southwest of England, first in Chagford, and then Penzance. Unfortunately, John died in 1978 but not before they had settled happily and reacquainted themselves with old friends. In 1982 Jean moved to her cottage in Heamoor where she lived happily for over 30 years, getting herself fully engaged in the local community, including joining St Thomas’ Church as a regular member of the congregation and involved in wider church activities. Her other interests included quilting, art, keep fit, aquarobics, entertaining and travelling. From the early 1970s onwards, Jean took a lively interest in her now further expanding family – she loved spending time with her grandchildren, of whom she eventually had 8. She regularly travelled to Australia to visit her elderly mother and her younger sister and family until the early 1990s, and soon after that she started on a new phase of life which saw her grandchildren reaching adulthood. Her mobility began to suffer and she underwent both knee & hip replacement surgery – she remained active throughout and onwards! The first of her 7 great-grandchildren arrived in 2012, and she had met all of them by early summer 2018. In the last 10 years, she coped with increasing mobility difficulties but eventually, compounded by other health issues, reluctantly gave up her independent living to go into Penlee Residential Care Home where she spent nearly 3 years both safe & comfortable.
Ruth Blakemore (97) October 12th Heamoor
Ruth was a strong and independent lady despite her smallness of stature. She grew up in Penzance and worked as a cleaner in the Cliff Hotel and the Youth Hostel after leaving school. She married Leonard and they had over forty years together before he died some years ago. Ruth lived many years in Heamoor and was a constant fixture in the Legion, St Thomas and local events. She always loved cats, knitted and supported others where she could, Her sadness in life was losing a baby. In recent times she lived in the Haven, where she found herself feeling tired, but she retained a good memory till the end and the staff loved her stories.