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Obituaries of U3A friends

Doug Hodkinson

Sadly on 22nd September 2022, Doug Hodkinson passed away peacefully at Seagrave House Care Home.  His family were with him when he passed away.







Doug was an enthusiastic and very active member of our u3a Family History group. He was very analytical with his research and always asked questions when he did not understand a new topic. He took great pleasure in discovering new ancestors and always was happy to share his experiences with the rest of the group.



When COVID prevented us from meeting each month in person, we met weekly via Zoom and Doug rarely missed a week. 


He will be sorely missed in our Family History group.


Richard Boyles

September 2022

His Cremation and Tribute service will happen on 4th October 2022 in the Kettering area, UK.


The cremation will take place at The Albert Munn Chapel, Kettering Warren Hill Crematorium, Warren Hill, Kettering, NN16 8XE, at 12:30, 4th October 2022.  If you feel close to the family or him, please feel free to attend.  This part of the service will be short.  This service will be streamed.  The streamed service will also be available for a limited time afterwards if you are not able to be present.


Streaming website:

Username: gega4581

Password: 856403


After the cremation will shall return to Geddington for his Tribute service. 


The Tribute service starts at 13:30 and will be held at The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Church Hill, Geddington, Kettering, NN14 1AH.  It is intended that this service will be lighthearted.

After the Tribute service Doug’s Wake will be held at St. Mary Magdalene.


If you feel the need to donate to a charity, Doug’s charity of choice is the Prostate Cancer UK ( Dad, as an avid gardener, preferred flowers that were growing rather than cut.  If you feel able to and in lieu of any flowers, please make a donation to his charity of choice.

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Bob Thorogood

Sadly, I have to announce the passing of Bob Thorogood. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends.












Bob was Group Leader of the Spanish Group which was open to members of both Kettering and Ise u3as. He transformed the group from a self taught group to one working through several language programmes and making lots of progress. He was always very patient holding his pen in the air to call for silence when the group became noisy, which was quite often. He continued running the group throughout lockdown via Zoom and everyone will miss his kindness and sense of humour.













His working life was spent serving our local community starting as a Police Constable and rising through the ranks to end up as Chief Superintendent. He has published his autobiography "Behind the Call of Duty" in which he talks about his early life and his many interesting experiences as a policeman.

Di Tebbutt

July 2022

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Gordon Wallam

It is with much sadness that I have to report that Gordon recently passed away. Along with his wife Norma and another member they set up the initial meeting in the Cornmarket Hall for possible members of KU3A. They were both on the Steering committee and stayed on the following year as membership secretaries. They both enjoyed many activities one of them being the French group as they were enthusiastic Francophiles. Rumour has it that many happy hours were spent speaking the language with the odd bottle of wine (French of course!) to help things along. On a personal note I and my husband will miss them very much as they were our next door neighbours for over 20 years. Norma is now in Elm Bank. They made a huge contribution to KU3A as many earlier members will remember. 
Our thoughts go out to Catherine, Andrew and their three grandchildren. God Bless.

Carole Bradbury

June 2022

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Pat Wells

Sadly Pat passed away at the end of April 2022. She, and her husband John, were among the earliest members of KU3A. Always supportive and enthusiastic they joined many groups and took part in many activities. One of these was the monthly lunch club where many happy hours were spent. 
John, who was a chartered accountant before retiring, agreed to examine the books for the first four years or rather he nominated Annette (their daughter also a chartered accountant) as he wanted to 'put something back in'. They were a very friendly couple with whom we formed a firm friendship. We often picked each other's brains over the daily paper's crossword. Unfortunately Pat had not enjoyed good health for some years but nevertheless we were shocked when we heard the news. They will both be greatly missed especially by their family and many friends. Our thoughts are with them.

Carole Bradbury

May 2022

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Gwyneth Holland

It is with great regret that I have to report that Gwyneth passed away just before Christmas. She had struggled with ill health for a long time, specifically with a number of falls, poor hearing and lately a loss of eyesight. Joining KU3A in its second month she was an enthusiastic member who threw herself into it wholeheartedly.

As soon as we established a Play Reading group she volunteered to be the group leader and offered her house as a regular venue and we enjoyed many happy hours of fun there.

When I started the Music Group she was one of the first to join as she loved music, particularly opera. Luckily we were still able to meet at her house for our last meeting this year enabling us to share both the music and friendship with her. 
Some years ago I organized a Murder Mystery evening for KU3A. Again Gwyneth, along with myself and two other members(now also deceased) prepared 60 Ploughman's suppers in my kitchen. It was a great success. 
Personally I feel that I have lost a really good friend and I am sure that many of you will miss her too. Our thoughts are with her family. May she rest in peace.

Carole Bradbury

December 2021

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John Wells

John along with his wife Pat was an early member of KU3A. They regularly attended monthly meetings and joined and supported many groups. One of the these was the monthly Lunch Club and due to John's affable personality he was a particular favourite with the ladies much to his amusement. He was a retired chartered accountant and when approached about the task of 'examining the books' his response was immediately positive as he said he wanted "to put something back in". Historians may be interested to know that John researched and published a short biography of every soldier from Kettering and district who died in the First World War. He was a very popular person  and a great loss to his many friends and relatives. Our deepest sympathies go to Pat and their family. 

Carole Bradbury

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Brian Hoggarth

Brian joined KU3A in its first year with his wife Maureen. He soon became a committee member taking on the role of preparing and printing the monthly newsletter. He introduced many innovations, an early one being the use of colour and later on an online version. Brian also designed all forms required, for example membership renewals. He devised quizzes for KU3A's social events and managed 'crowd control' when cream cakes were the order of the day! Despite his many time consuming tasks associated with the newsletter Brian was also active in many groups alongside Maureen. 
Sadly he was dogged by ill health over the last few years so was unable to participate in any U3A activities. He was a very highly valued member and many of us will also feel that we have lost a loyal friend. Our thoughts are with Maureen and the family.

Carole Bradbury

November 2021

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Shirley Mepham

It is with real sadness that I have to report the death of Shirley Mepham. She died just after Easter in Oxford where she was being treated.



Shirley joined the u3a after moving to Kettering from London, where she had lived for most of her life to be near her family. She served on the Committee for several years and was Vice Chairman for a year. Even when she stepped down from the Committee she continued to run the monthly raffle and was always ready with a smile to welcome everyone.  Her sense of fun and zest for life made her an entertaining member of the Singing Group. She had so much energy and often put many younger members to shame when dancing to "The Lambeth Walk"S

She will be sorely missed.

Di Tebbutt - June 2021

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June & Michael Middleton

June and Michael were in the first intake of members and remained enthusiastic supporters throughout their time with KU3A before eventually moving to Plymouth to be nearer to family. The both belonged to many groups one of which was the History Group where June was spotted taking photographs. This led to her becoming KU3A's 'official photographer'. She diligently visited every group, monthly meeting and AGM which resulted in a wonderful photographic record of early activities and participating members in the archive. Sadly Michael passed away not long after they had moved to Plymouth and June followed soon after. They will be sadly missed by all who knew them. 

Carole Bradbury

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Jean Wardle

It is with great regret I have to report the death of Jean Wardle who died peacefully overnight on 6th March 2021.

Jean was an active member of both the Computer Group and Family History Group


Jean was always very cheerful and very attentive during the talks in both groups and liked to get involved with the activities of the groups.


A message from Jean's church...

There is a memorial page set up by her church which can be accessed here.

Jean Wardle's funeral took place at 1pm on  the 24th March at Kettering Crematorium and for a limited time you can watch a recording by going to...


                username : fejo3065

                 password : 339855

There is a Just Giving page for donations to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer fund if anyone wishes to  donate. HERE

Please do continue to pray for Jean's family at this really difficult time. The family have asked us to pass on their thanks for the lovely messages they have received since Jean's death.

Richard Boyles - March 2021

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Tom Piercy

Sadly Tom passed away on 2nd August and you can view and download his funeral service card HERE

Tom.  In memoriam. 

A few months or so ago I received a book, definitely addressed to me but with no indication as to the sender.  It was called On Chapel Sands and from picking it up, I couldn’t put it down: so many personal connections, recollections…..   It subsequently turned out to be from Tom.  He had typically remembered my connections with Lincolnshire, thought it might be of interest – (you bet!) – and was a thank you, he said, for the help and encouragement he was convinced I’d given him as a member of the Writers Group. 

As I recall, he was writing some auto/biographical pieces and, apart from a few tips I was able to impart, he needed only a bit of self-confidence, for he was a very good writer; a natural. Later he took over the Group and was also seen “meeting and greeting” at monthly meetings until ill health intervened.

Hospitalization, treatments etc notwithstanding, he remained in touch with friends, frequently checking up on our welfare by phone or message.  A very kind and modest man, his twinkle in the eyes and ready sense of humour always attracted an entourage, especially of ladies, “like bees round a honey pot” – a talent he denied but admitted his late beloved Anne used to remark upon! Dear Tom, God bless.  You are sorely missed.

Mary Wildman


Tom Piercy 

I met Tom only about three years ago. We travelled on the same bus to the U3A family history meeting in Kettering
I soon noticed things about Tom that are memorable.
His friendliness.
Tom knew and appreciated most of the bus drivers and always greeted them as if they were personal friends. He even knew some of the family history of one of the lady bus drivers and they were kind to him in return.
His enthusiasm.
Tom was an enthusiast. He was particularly enthusiastic over U3A. He spoke of the French ships he had made, all that he had learnt and valued particularly in the writing groups and family history. His knowledge.
He was knowledgeable about lots of stuff but always curious and wanting to go on learning. He went on refining his own family history until he felt not well enough to carry on. I believe it occupies a whole room and more and certainly looked at a great many people.
Tom loved to talk.
In his conversations he spoke of his childhood with his five siblings his success in the sports field as a young man but especially of his success in racing 3 wheeler Morgans. He spoke proudly of the family, the grandchildren and how their lives were shaping up.
His courage.
Tom recommended to me sometime ago, a book he was reading and valued. “The Emperor of all Maladies”.  A biography of cancer. It was a book which satisfied his curiosity to go on learning and added to his knowledge of his own condition. 
He showed great courage in this last year or two when life became quite difficult. He always remained appreciative of those who cared for him in whatever way. He will be missed by famiIy and friends and all those his life impacted.

Footnote; The bus that took Tom so easily to the Doctors surgery,to the hospital,to Kettering ,to Family history,and U3A was withdrawn a year ago.

Jean Wardle


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