It was with mixed feelings of sadness and relief that a group of twenty of her church family met in Greenock Crematorium on Monday 18th January to attend Doreen’s funeral. We were sad that we would not see our friend again in this life but relieved that she had not lingered alone in hospital in a debilitated state. Due to Covid Regulations we were restricted not only in numbers attending but in the type of Service we could hold – shorter than normal and no singing – yet in spite of this the presence of God was richly there. Alison Black gave the Eulogy and Grace spoke movingly of the reality of the resurrection life into which Doreen has passed. The verse from Isaiah quoted on the Order of Service brought that truth home and was so appropriate for Doreen who was a lover of all things beautiful in her Lord’s creation:
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Isaiah 51:3
Doreen was born and brought up in Lancashire – a much-loved daughter who was close to both her parents. After her father’s death Doreen’s energies were increasingly spent in caring for her aging mother and quite remarkably she was granted early retirement from her teaching position to do this – something which she regarded as a great privilege granted by God in answer to her prayers. Although Doreen had always believed in God and lived a good life, it was not until she was in her fifties that she came to know the Lord Jesus as her personal Saviour and in the decades to follow she faithfully sought to find His leading and do His will.
Indeed, Doreen believed that many aspects of her life were punctuated by examples of divine guidance. For example, she believed that God clearly guided her to relocate to Scotland, to make her home at Cloch Caravans and to become part of our Fellowship. She felt at home and safe in the presence of God that she sensed in our meetings and her love and trust in Christ increased.
Quiet and self-effacing by nature, Doreen unostentatiously became a helper in so many ways – administering suppers at Maranatha with Mrs Black, providing accommodation at Cloch Caravans, helping in the bookshop, teaching in Cedars School and above all praying for and showing kindness to others. She loved her home with its panoramic views across the Clyde and after her own pets had died she was adopted by the neighbouring cats and a variety of little birds who frequented the trees and bushes in her garden and enjoyed the regular treats she provided for them. However, when she finally accepted that she was not well enough to stay there, she adapted surprisingly well to the inevitable changes her deteriorating health brought. During her final years in Balclutha she was supported by visits from Church friends and was able, when well enough, to attend the Nursing Home meeting run so faithfully by Mrs Wallace and her team.
While no-one was able to be with Doreen as her passing drew near, it a comfort to know that Alison Black, who was her Covid Contact, had kept in regular touch with her and they had spoken by telephone not long before Doreen’s last illness. What a comfort also to reflect on the New Year Promise and to be assured of its relevance for Doreen :
I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4)
She no longer sees through a glass darkly but now face to face – it is well with her soul.
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.