THE loss of a loved one can be difficult at the best of times.
But it’s proving even more painful during the coronavirus lockdown.
The family of Stroud great grandmother Doreen Marsh, who died on April 13, were devastated when they didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to her.
Sadly they could not be with her when she died due to the risk of infection.
Lauren, one of Doreen’s 29 grandchildren, said: “I’m carer, and not being able to reassure her and tell her everything was going to be alright and be with her in her last moments has broken me, especially when I do it for other people and yet I couldn’t do it for my own Nan.”
The family didn’t get the chance to give Doreen a traditional send off either as, under current restrictions, only five family members were permitted to attend the funeral and no one was allowed to visit the chapel of rest.
But, determined that something positive should come out of their experience, the family are now fundraising for Stroud Foodbank as a tribute to their Nan.
Granddaughter Bethany said: “Sadly when Nan passed we never got to say our goodbyes and she won’t get the send off she so dearly deserves, but we are hoping to do some positive in her name.
“We are now hoping to raise £1000 for Stroud Food Bank.
“We realise at this time life is difficult for many people and more people will rely on charities like Stroud Food Bank and we would love to help in honour of Nan.
“We want to change this truly heartbreaking situation into something positive.”
Doreen Marsh was known for her kind heart and her love of life.
A caring mum, foster mum and Nan, she was also a woman of unusual talents, with the ability to throw a rolling pin further than anyone else.
Born in Parliament Street in Stroud in 1942, she went on to have ten children with her beloved husband John; Tina, Brian, Susan, Alan, Wendy, Ian, Cheryl, Bev, Gary and Scott.
She triumphed in Stroud’s rolling pin throwing competition, scooping the Champion of Champions title in 1963 before receiving the World Champion Pin Throwing award the following year.
A traditional Stroud event, the rolling pin throwing competition was revived after a gap of nearly 20 years at last summer’s Stroud Show, alongside the brick throwing competition.
Doreen was also a champion darts player, and pub landlady, at both the Whitehorse in Cainscross and The Kingshill in Dursley.
Bethany said: “Nan was very successful at whatever she put her mind too.
“She made her debut to darts in the 1982-1983 season and continued to play until 2001.
“In that time she won many awards and was even offered a place in the English darts team, but declined due to her growing family.”
As well as caring for her own family, Doreen became a foster carer too, welcoming 20 children into the Marsh family home in Paganhill.
She and John would go on to have 29 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
More recently Doreen and John moved to Eastington, and then sadly Doreen lost John in November 2019. But she is survived by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
To donate to Stroud Foodbank in memory of Doreen, visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BethanyDavies12