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Dulcie Hart

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 A Thanksgiving For Her Life by her eldest son Keith

Family and Friends, we are gathered here to give thanks for the life of Dulcie Winifred Hart. Throughout her 85 years she always referred to herself as a country girl who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. Born at Bognor Regis the family soon moved to Bridge Road, Emsworth where she was brought up with her sister Jude. Across the road was the millpond where her childhood memories of the sea and countryside began and remained an interest throughout her life. Her maiden name was Turnbull and she loved to tell the story that it was given to a man by King Robert the Bruce who saved his life by turning away the head of a charging wild bull. Her father, James Morton Tumbull, was the daughter of Jane Mary and she was proud that each of these family names continues into the present generations.

After leaving school there were only two options for young girls; either the glove factory or domestic service. Her mother, who was a midwife with a strong character, made the decision for her. Thus Dulcie became a servant in a naval officer’s family house and was later promoted to cook. Many of us know how good she was at this, particularly her currant buns and apple pies. It was while she was a cook that she met her future husband Walter Sydney Hart. She loved to tell the story of how she met Wally when he was a plumber. Her was such a persistent admirer that in today’s age she could have charged him with stalking. Thankfully she gave in to him and four weeks ago today she would have remembered their 66th wedding anniversary when Dulcie carried a bouquet of cream tea roses. These colours are included in her floral tribute today.

Dulcie and Wally had a wonderful life together and as they loved children there are many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who affectionately called her Nan. Through her children Mary, Keith and brother Leonard, the family home was always full of fun and laughter with friends playing games or singing round the piano. Dulcie was a hard-working devoted mother who would rise at 5am to prepare the cooking for the day and during the week make sure the boys and Wally were off to Portsmouth Dockyard by six. She never lost the habit of rising early when she would enjoy the quietness and joy of a new morning. The family home of Rosebank at Westboume for half a century will remain a source of many happy memories for family, neighbours and friends.

Not only did she love children, but animals too. During her lifetime they would have totalled into a menagerie. She also had unusual treatments for sick animals. Like giving salmon and brandy to a sick cat - and it worked! Perhaps because of this experience she looked forward to, or even demanded, her daily tot of whiskey - medicinal of course! Although her doctor recommended it she was disappointed that it could not be got on a prescription. In hospital we knew she was getting better when she asked each day for a drop of whiskey. Perhaps it would have performed the miracle we were all praying for.

She had a wide circle of friends as she enjoyed mixing with people and helping them whenever she could. Like the time she learnt the deaf and dumb language to take an elderly lady for daily walks. Cooking at the village school during the war years and helping with the old folk in the village. By today’s standards her family was poor with no savings or property. Perhaps this came about because of her saying about money: “Coins are round because they are meant to go around”.

When Wally died 10 years ago she continued to live on her own enjoying her many friends and the visits from her family. Alas as she grew older she became unsteady on her feet and a danger to herself. Thanks to the good neighbours and friends there was always a watchful eye for her well being. However, after several falls, some serious, she eventually agreed to go to Plymouth to live with her son and wife. She soon developed new circles of friends thanks to the weekday visits to the Age Concern Centre. Dulcie always enjoyed the company of people and those of you who are here today are a testament to that.

Dulcie was a Christian who prayed each night thanking God for her blessings and asking for the protection of her family and friends. She also had a simple philosophy of life. For example, whenever warned that she was putting herself in danger she would reply "I will not go before my time. I believe that life is mapped out for you from the moment you are born”. Perhaps she was right and is now telling Wally “I told them so"!  


Dulcie was a very special person who tried to lead her life according to the following verses taken from Proverbs 31

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She stretched out her hand to the poor; yea, she reached out her hands to the needy.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She opened her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed: her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman who feareth the Lord, shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Here endeth the reading.

Thanks be to God for the life of Dulcie with us.

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