|Ruth Chard's Thanksgiving Service was held in All Saints' church on Thursday, 11th September, 2008, and can be heard in full on another page. This appreciation of her was written by her family, and had been used at her funeral in New Zealand.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ruth was born on 4 May 1926 at Priddy. The only child of Ethel and Oliver Rendall.
It was a very difficult birth and neither Mum nor Ruth, who was a ‘blue baby’, were expected to survive. It was her strength and determination which pulled her through then, and this has been with her throughout her busy life.
The family home was firstly at Charterhouse and then at Priddy on the Mendip Hills. From here she went on to train as a Nurse at Wells Hospital. A vocation she loved and continued to use in many ways throughout her life.
During this time, she was asked to be bridesmaid to her cousin Barbara who was getting married to John Tincknell. John’s cousin Les was an usher and one of his duties was to entertain the bridesmaids. He must have carried out his duties well, as Ruth and Les were married on 11th June 1949 at Priddy Church.
Following their marriage they lived with Les’ mother in Bank House, Wrington, and Marilyn was born the following August . They moved to their own house in School Road, Wrington and their second daughter Yvonne was born on 30th August 1954.
With her nursing experience Ruth was always in demand in the village, either helping during the day or sitting up with some one at night to give the family a rest.
She nursed her grandmother, her parents and also her Aunts and Uncle, when they became ill. She never stopped nursing and helping people right up until the time she herself became ill earlier this year.
Ruth was always keen to be involved in anything that happened in the village and more than anything she really enjoyed being part of the Local Drama group who each year would put on a pantomime or village play. She couldn’t understand why the rest of the family didn’t want to be involved too. But it was Marilyn who had to play every part until Ruth felt she was word perfect inevitably the day of the last performance! She liked nothing better than to get up on the stage and act and sing away!
In 1972, Yvonne, Robert and the family emigrated to New Zealand. Then in 1997, after a few visits to New Zealand to see them, Ruth and Les made the big decision, at the ages of 71 and 74 respectively, to move to New Zealand. They settled well in their new house in Mauku, just outside Auckland, and Ruth soon became involved in a lot of voluntary work. This included joining a Stroke Club, singing with The Birdies Fellowship Singers - a Church choir, teaching the Bible in local schools and helping out at a Cardiac Club; and of course her Sundays were not complete without her visit to St Bride’s Church, which she could see from the house.
She enjoyed the Mauku Socials and one time won a prize for dancing the most dances. At 77 and having two false hips this was quite an achievement.
Ruth was never happier than when she was helping others. Her happy bubbly personality was infectious and she would take you into her heart with open arms. She always said she had made some lovely friends both in England and in New Zealand. This was particularly evident with the amount of people who visited her when Ruth became ill.
She especially loved to spend time with her family around her, seeing and keeping in touch with her seven Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren. She eagerly awaited news and photos from her family and friends in England.
Her strength, faith and sense of humour helped her throughout her life and when she was diagnosed with cancer she was determined not to let it get her down. She coped very well throughout her ordeal and we, the family, are very proud of her.
Mum/Grandma, you have taught us to be strong and thoughtful of others and we will continue your example. As much as we will miss you dreadfully, we are glad you are now resting peacefully. A light has gone out of our lives but loving memories will always remain.
We would like to express our admiration to Dad / Granddad who found the strength to provide endless support though her illness, and with the families support we will keep that strength strong.