Patricia Ann Rodwell 1946 – 2010
From the Parish News – November 2010
The very sudden death of Pat Rodwell on September 10th has left her husband Charles, family, friends and neighbours in extreme shock. Charlie had left that morning to go to work as usual, but became increasingly concerned as he tried to contact her repeatedly to give her a message, and found on his return that she had passed away soon after he had left, sitting in the armchair with her shopping list still in her hand.
Pat was born in Hackney, her parents Florence and Fred Rudd had been staying at a relative's pub at Hainault at the time. In her early years she did secretarial work near Kings Lynn, but came to this area when she came to stay with her Uncle Sam, who kept "The Swan" at Gillingham. While there she worked at the local farm carrot picking, but soon found more permanent work at a local turkey factory, where she worked for 6 years. She became friendly with some co-workers and moved in to live with them at their house at Metfield. It was while she was there, in January 1982, that Pat met Charlie at a disco dance at "The Swan" Harleston – where Pat asked Charlie if he would like to dance – she must have liked his style as she later took him home! He must have liked her style as he later took her home. In due course she moved in to live with Charlie and his brother Alan at Upland Terrace, where Charlie had lived ever since his mother and father had moved there from "Sunnyside Cottages" (site of Ashton's Autos) when he was 10. They married 9 months later at Diss Registry Office followed by a reception at Denton Village Hall.
Pat then had a career change when she started to work at "The Moorings" in Earsham – it was there she found her great speciality was in the care of the elderly. She later worked as a residential carer with an agency. If she was away for several weeks Charlie would drive to see her on her day off, often very significant distances. Some very warm testimonies have been received from the relatives of patients she had cared for. A number of village people have spoken of how kind she was to older members of her own community.
Pat was very proud of her children, Jim and Caroline, and her 8 grandchildren. She was in regular contact with Caroline who she would telephone very early on a Sunday morning – if she was up she expected everyone else to be up. She was always active, and filled spare time with her hobbies – knitting Arran sweaters for her grandchildren, reading and latterly the internet – becoming quite an addict to Facebook.
Her sudden death was caused by a pulmonary embolism. This must have been particularly poignant for Charlie who at the age of 16 arrived home to be informed by his mother that his father his father had died suddenly of a heart attack while sitting in a similar place in the same room.
The service celebrating her life was held at St Faith's Crematorium, was conducted by Gill Hipwell, and was attended by her father, and younger brother John as well as her own children and grandchildren, other relatives and work colleagues. The committal was followed with refreshments afterwards at Denton Village Hall, and a memorial collection made for the British Heart Foundation.