Doris Lowe was a Miner's daughter, born as Doris Mary Cooper near Viney Hill in the Forest of Dean.
Life was by no means easy in the years after the First World War and there were difficulties between workers and managers in many places in the 1920s as the country came to terms with the new order.
This formative period gave Doris a life-long concern for a sense of equality and opportunity. She was fortunate at school to be taught by an inspirational head-teacher, Mr H C Kerwood. When she left school she went on to train as a nurse in Bristol. She was later accepted to work on a psychiatric ward early during World War 2.
Not too long afterwards she married George Lowe in 1943. They lived in Gloucester and were very self-sufficient and very keen gardeners, going organic long before it was fashionable. They grew their own vegetables, and made their own wine. Sunday wine-tasting evenings had a certain family notoriety.
Both Doris and George worked very hard for their family, seeking to give them the best opportunities with piano and ballet lessons, cycling and getting out for walks; they did much walking, since for a long time they didn't have a car. They also made sure that the children had the chance to go to University to further their studies, an example of their self-giving love.
But this was not a gruelling life by any means. Doris always had a feel for work, at home and in the garden, entering into it whole-heartedly and finding satisfaction in what she did and achieved. Part of her wisdom was to make necessity become a pleasure. Later on, Doris and George moved to Keynsham and they were able to enjoy some travelling abroad. After George's death in 1996 Doris moved to a bungalow in Abbeymead, until the years took their toll and she came to Badgeworth Court in July 2005. Both she and the family much appreciated the care there.
In the few meetings that I had with Doris, I could certainly feel her strength of character and spirit, even in her old age. Doris had a love of music, and a wonderful range of musical tastes; she liked what she liked, and that could be anything from Bach to The Beatles. Doris had a tremendous sense of fun, was terrific with children and was never afraid of doing things differently - her rebellious streak never left her. Rest assured, we need more people like that today.
Doris' Christian faith and her Church involvement were important to her throughout her life, from attending Church three times a week on Sundays when young, to St Aldates, to Longlevens Church and its Young Wives. Doris knew that life's journey was a journey of love, despite the knocks and difficulties. She applied wisdom and thought at the time of decision, in a spirit of service to others.
My GG (Great Granny)
GG was so wonderful
So funny and so sweet,
GG was so kind and caring
She was a lovely treat.
GG liked to ride her bike
She loved to ride on trains,
GG loved to go on walks
Down long and winding lanes.
GG loved her garden
She liked to press her flowers,
GG loved to go on trips
Dawlish and Cabot Tower.
We will miss her more than anything
We love her very much,
We had some amazing times together
So I thank her very much.
This beautiful tribute in verse was given at the funeral service by 12 year old Great-Granddaughter, Lauren Wilcock-Ford. Her family are rightly very proud of her.
This address was given to the congregation by the Reverend J A Mitchell during Doris' funeral at the Holy Trinity Church, Badgeworth, Gloucester on Tuesday 15th January 2008.
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