Charles (Charlie) Richards 1927 – 2016
From the Parish News – November 2016
Charlie Richards died on 17th September 2016 aged 89 years.
A memorial service was held on 7th October at Denton URC Chapel for Charlie Richards following his cremation at Beccles crematorium. The service was conducted by Rev. Jacquie Evans with a very full congregation of family and friends in attendance.
Tributes were read by family members with a particularly moving contribution written and read by his eight year old great-grandson Harvey.
Charlie was born in Ipswich in 1927 which meant he was just old enough in 1944 to volunteer for the Royal Navy during WW2, which he chose rather than having to be drafted into one of the other services. He served on minesweepers for two years clearing coastal waters. While still in the Navy romance was to strike when he was visiting a forces' canteen in Braintree. There he met the love of his life Dulcie, who was helping to serve teas. However this could have ended in calamity as when it was arranged he should meet Dulcie’s parents one evening at 7 pm, he fell asleep in the canteen. In his rush to make up time he tripped over a barrier on his way in the dark. He fell head first into a muddle track, resulting at his first meeting with his future mother-in-law with her having to mop him down! It may have been a muddy beginning but it was far from a sticky ending as their marriage, in 1947, lasted 69 years.
Following his de-mob Charlie became interested in the printing industry and found work in a small printing business in Ipswich. Later he movd to the Ipswich firm Cowells and in 1953 to Clays of Bungay where he and Dulcie found accommodation in an apartment in Trinity House. He was employed at Clays until he was 60 years old when he took early retirement following health problems with his heart.
In 1960 they spotted a building site in Denton where the old Chapel Manse, which having been sold to a developer for £47, had been demolished. They had the present ''Tall Trees'' bungalow built. This is where they were to spend the next 56 years of their life together and brought up their three children, David, Paul and Karen.
During these years they became very much loved and respected by their neighbours and the village folk. Charlie took up woodwork in his retirement and made many beautiful pieces including carver type stick-back chairs, all of which he catalogued for his own satisfaction but gave most of his work to family and friends. Dulcie became well known by helping Alfred and Peggy Battell in the village shop sharing with Bubbles' afternoon shifts. Any spare time was spent making use of her artistic talent for painting and clay sculpture. She also made costumes at times for the village pantomime.
Charlie was determined to care for Dulcie following her stroke and hospital treatment, but sadly neglected his own health when cancer struck and rapidly overtook his body’s defences. He died after a relatively short but very painful illness.
We extend our sympathy and condolences to Dulcie; also to David, Paul and Karen and their families with grandchildren Danielle and Lewis, James and Mathew, Emily and Liam, and also including their twelve great-grandchildren all of whom meant so much to them.