Tribute: Marlene Firmin
Lost to Covid, 27 January 2021
Marlene Ann Lucas was born on 7 December 1936 in Tonbridge in Kent. She had an older brother and 3 younger sisters.
Things changed dramatically for the family in 1939, when WWII broke out, living so close to London. During the Blitz, Marlene was evacuated to Surrey for safety.
As a child, Marlene always had a keen interest in cooking, and it was no surprise that she joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps as a cook at the Army Officer’s Training School at Hindhead in Surrey.
Marlene met her husband John in 1954. He was fulfilling his National Service obligation in the Army, driving Fire Engines in Surrey. They courted for two years and on 5 May 1956, the Cup Final Day, the couple were married at Tunbridge Register Office. Marlene left the Army and the new Mr and Mrs Firmin initially lived with family, until they were allocated a Council House in Tring Road, Wendover, where they lived until 2004.
Over the following years, Marlene and John became parents to Michael, Bridgett, Peter, Andrew, Jane and Amanda. To coincide with the school hours, Marlene began working in the local school kitchens and, as the children grew, went on to work as a tea lady on the wards at RAF Halton Hospital.
In 1975, Marlene started to help at the 2nd Halton (RAF) Brownie pack and after a short time became Brown Owl. Marlene’s service to 2nd Halton Brownies spanned from 1975 to 2001.
Marlene was a member of the Royal British Legion in Wendover and was always a familiar face at the jumble sales and cake stalls, etc. She was also a member of the Bowls club and, although she only played in the very early days, she supported her husband, John, at nearly every game, joining the team of ‘tea ladies’ supplying the players with refreshments and dinner.
In 2004, Marlene & John decided to retire to Rushden in Northamptonshire, where Marlene joined Higham Trefoil Guild.
Marlene had a great love of crafting; she would try her hand at anything. Mostly she made cards which on occasion she would sell to raise funds for cancer charities. Almost everyone she knew would have received one of her cards at some point. Even after losing her left eye to cancer, and with little sight in the right one, she continued with her crafts. She had a ‘shed’ down the garden which had everything crafty you could imagine.
Marlene and John, over the years, became very proud and loving grandparents and great grandparents. In 2016, they received a card from the Queen, celebrating 60 years of marriage together. This year would have seen 65 years in May.
Marlene was much loved by family and many friends. She will be greatly missed.