Thursday, 11 August 2022

Diana Ruth Douglas: October 14, 1940-December 22, 2014

A BRAVE woman was born into this world on October 14, 1940.

A BRAVE woman was born into this world on October 14, 1940.

Diana Ruth Winter was born locally in the family home, “The Old Clubhouse” in Binfield Heath, the first child for Joan and Bert Winter. The house had been in Joan’s family since the 1800s.

Bert was a sergeant in the Hampshire regiment of the army. On his return after almost seven years from fighting in the Second World War, Diana was given a cute baby brother called Richard.

The house was a gorgeous thatched property with lots of land for many animals. Diana and Richard even had their own pony called Robin.

One evening the house had a serious fire within the thatched roof and, although no one was hurt, the family had to be rehomed temporarily at the Homestead in Binfield Heath. From that day Diana never liked or wanted to live in a thatched house again.

Diana attended Dunsden School and then Rotherfield secondary. She loved netball and was privileged to play against and lose to the England A team.

A lady of many talents, she also played the trombone in the Henley Town Band.

Her first job was as secretary at Sargent, Brown & Co solicitors. They sent her to night school to learn shorthand. Loving her rock ’n’ roll, Diana even practised her shorthand to Little Richard records to improve her speed!

She met Ron Douglas in the late Fifties. They would hang out in the local teddy boy gang in Henley, spending time in Ted and Lil’s Café and also down the prom.

She did this with her best friend Brenda Bredmore, who now lives in America but would regularly visit them and vice-versa. Brenda was here last year and spent a month with them both.

Ron and Di were married on June 24, 1961 at Binfield Heath chapel.

They honeymooned in Bognor Regis, where they visited many times afterwards. Di took a job as a secretary at Staceys garage in Binfield Heath and this informed her love of cars.

She went on to have three children, Debbie, Kelly and Darren, of whom she was extremely proud.

She made special and unique bonds with her son-in-laws, Richard and Ian, and her daughter-in-law, Belinda. She was the mother-in-law of choice!

Di doted on her eight grandchildren, Jodi, Stephanie, Arron, Caitlin, Millie, Harri, Charlie and Ava, and her three great grandchildren, Sam, Harvey and Leon.

After bringing up her three children, she returned to work at Milwards and became manageress of the Henley branch.

She made a very special friend here in Chris Mott and they stayed friends for the rest of her life.

Di loved her horses and would have been overwhelmed by her transport to her funeral at the same chapel where they were married.

She would persuade Ron to go and watch Lord Phillimore’s polo matches, not for the game but just to watch the horses. He would go with her, not for the love of the game but for the beer!

Di enjoyed her holidays with her young children. She visited Morecombe, the Lake District, Margate, Bude, Ilfracombe and Skegness.

Later on she took her first flight to Chicago and loved the fact she took a very special trip to Gracelands in Memphis, the home of her idol Elvis Presley. Elvis was the only competition Ron had! Di and Ron were also very proud that they took a flight on the magnificent Concorde which broke the sound barrier.

She travelled to many places with her family but Cyprus was where she would call her second home and she made many friends.

Brave is the one word to sum up Di. She had many problems with her health for most of her life.

Born with a hole in her heart, she was given a 50/50 chance during open heart surgery in 1976.

She was told never to have children but went on to have three because, as always, Di knew best, thankfully for Debbie, Kelly and Darren.

Now she has joined Ron for eternity.

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