Brenda Dickinson
Brenda Dickinson

A retired teacher who dedicated much of her life to volunteering in the community has died.

Mrs Brenda Dickinson, 82, of North Muskham, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago. She had been in remission after extensive treatment, but the cancer returned in August and she died at her home on Friday.

Mrs Dickinson was devoted to her family who said she had time for everyone she met and had many friends.

“She was a very special, empathetic person and inspirational to a lot of people,” they said.

Mrs Dickinson left school at 14 and worked in a factory until she was 18 and old enough to get a job as an assistant house mother at a children’s home in Coventry.

She then worked for a time as an assistant house mother in Nottingham before giving up work to start her family.

It had always been her ambition to work with children and, after having a son and two daughters, she returned to education as a mature student at Newark Technical College.

She studied O and A-levels and then completed her teacher training at Eaton Hall, Retford.

Her first job was teaching history at St Frederick Milner School, Retford.

She then moved to Sconce Hills High School, Newark, where she taught history, as well as being head of year and in charge of special needs.

Mrs Dickinson retired from teaching at 55 to spend more time with her husband, Derek, who had retired five years earlier. The couple celebrated their diamond wedding in March this year.

Involved in the community

Mrs Dickinson was a volunteer at Beaumond House Community Hospice for many years and organised lunches in her village with the help of others for ten years, raising more than £20,000.

Mrs Dickinson loved children and helped at Muskham and Norwell primary schools, where she listened to pupils read.

She had been involved with Newark and District Talking Newspaper as a reader and editor for about 20 years, and was always on hand to help out when needed.

Mrs Dickinson served as a parish councillor in North Muskham for about ten years and was a governor at Muskham School.

She had been a churchwarden at St Wilfrid’s Church and was a reader there.

Mrs Dickinson was an honorary member of Newark Golf Club’s men’s senior section in recognition of a half-way home refreshment facility run by herself and her friend, Joan Hudd, for the golfers for more than 20 years.

She leaves her husband, son Adrian Dickinson, of Grantham, daughters Sue Joyce, of Stubton, and Clare Stokes, of Norwell, and five grandchildren, Andrew and Emily Dickinson, Tim and Nichola Joyce and Will Stokes.    

A service of celebration for her life is to be held on a date to be confirmed.