Annie Elizabeth (Betty) HEATH 1931-2016

Annie Elizabeth (Betty) HEATH nee TURNOCK 1931-2016

I recently attended the Memorial Service at Rudyard Methodist Chapel for Betty HEATH, pictured above with her husband Charlie at their home in September 2013. Whilst listening to the excellent reflection given by the Rev. Julie HERBERT; I found myself thinking of a happy occasion also spent in their kitchen, writing down their family line and trying to piece the jigsaw together that is our family name. All told, I must have been there over two and half hours, scribbling frantically away whilst drinking endless cups of tea and eating cake...which sounded like exactly the same sort of visit that the Rev HERBERT had experienced on more than one occasion.

I also recall that as I finished writing down one line of HEATH's, then Charlie would get on the telephone and another relative would appear and I'd soon be writing again. As I prepared to leave, I asked for a picture so as to paste them onto the paper tree I was building at the time. I'm very glad I did as well because I think it's a lovely shot of them both and it always reminds me of an afternoon well spent in their warm company.

I eventually managed to finish off the research at home and over the last couple of years, often had to call Charlie or Betty to iron out another mystery. If they didn't know the answer, within days they'd spoken to someone who did. With Betty being a TURNOCK before she was married, her own family line proved to be equally fascinating and intertwined with the HEATH's in the area going back hundreds of years. Apart from relating who married who and their children, Betty was able to recount the local stories of that area to bring these people to life again and prevent them being just a statistic on a piece of paper.

Both were keen supporters of the HEATH family Reunions held at Leek and Endon; her departure has left quite a void and my sympathy goes out to Charlie& his family for their loss.

Mark HEATH

October 2016.