Obituaries of U3A Members

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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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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John Wells

It is with great regret I have to report the death of John Wells.


John and Pat were among the first group of people to join the Kettering U3A and he also audited the books for the first few years.

He and Pat enjoyed going to the lunch club and meetings

including the history group. He also wrote a book on all the men in Rothwell who fought in the first world war and what happened to them.


John will be sadly missed by all the people who knew him especially Carole, Mary, Rosemary, and myself.

Eileen Mason - January 2021

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Tom Piercy

Tom Piercy.png
Sadly Tom passed away on 2nd August and you can view and download his funeral service card HERE
Obituaries from U3A friends

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



Tom joined our family history group and immediately became a key member. He was one of the main contributors in any discussion and always shared his vast experience with us and could talk authoratively on any subject.

He was so proud of his family history research and showed me his online blog which inspired me to publish my research too.

He was also a cheeky chap and we often had a great laugh together. We would communicate via e-mail and his way with words always brought on a smile.

When I visited him in hospital I could tell by the banter between Tom and the nurses, he was well liked as a patient and he was concerned that he did not want to be a nuisance to them. Such a gentleman.

Even as his illness restricted his mobility, he would struggle on the bus to get to the meetings and refused to accept offers of a lift.


We will all miss Tom's knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, humour and especially his friendship.


Richard Boyles