At Deer Park View we are celebrating the 100th birthday of our much loved resident Evelyn.
In the early days of her time with us Evelyn was very sociable with the most gracious interpersonal skills. She would initiate conversations and chat happily with some of our more reticent residents. She really did have a positive impact on their overall wellbeing as she just simply enjoyed their company so much.
Currently she enjoys looking at photographs and having catch-ups with her family on the iPad. She loves family visits which sadly are restricted due to covid. These days Evelyn tends not to mix so much and spends a lot of time in her room sitting in her favourite chair watching television between cat naps.
Evelyn was an only child, brought up in Ruislip, Middlesex by loving parents Edith and Alfred. She attended Notting Hill and Ealing High School where her favourite subjects were English, Gymnastics and PE. Evelyn was popular at school and had many friends, no doubt a reflection of her extremely good social skills. Noreen, Mary and Poppet were close special friends.
On leaving school Evelyn attended Queen’s Secretarial College. She met her future husband Donald McKendrick, a medical student at Oxford, at a friend’s 21st birthday party. They married in 1943 when she was 22 and he was 24. Evelyn and Donald went on to have three children Janna, Michael and Sally; she now has 8 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. They lived in the New Forest when Janna was born, but spent most of their married life in Hertfordshire and Essex. Evelyn and Donald were happily married for nearly 70 years.
Evelyn and Donald were keen sailors. They sailed their yacht, the Jayess, named after Janna and Sally, on many voyages around the British coast and over the North Sea to France, Holland and Denmark. Evelyn has an artistic talent, though is very modest about it. For some years she worked as a potter, and later enjoyed painting in watercolour.
“I remember clearly the first time I met Evelyn.' said Isabella Mackenzie, Home Manager. 'It was at her home in Stock, Essex, (quite a trip from Teddington). My purpose in going there was to carry out a pre-admission assessment prior to her admission to us. I was greeted by Evelyn’s daughter Sally who extended a really warm welcome and introduced me to her Mother. I was struck by Evelyn’s courtesy and charm and she chatted at length with me about her voluntary work in the local hospice.
Evelyn is one of the few people I have met in my life who, though basically a shy person, has such good manners that she is the one who can put others at their ease. I watched her do this so many times with the other residents in Black Bird Unit where she resides.
A few weeks ago, just before Evelyn’s 100th I made a point of asking her the secret of her longevity and she said, “I never argue”. She went on to say that having a supportive family was probably the real reason she has lived so long and added that she was always very sporty and tried to keep as fit as possible to keep herself pain free.
All of us at Deer Park are so proud to witness Evelyn reach 100. And it is my pleasure and privilege to have with us as she turns 100. I thank Evelyn’s children hugely for allowing their mum to come to us. I remember Sally telling me to make sure I look after her mum properly as she is a very special mum and the only one she has! (So, no pressure then, Sally?)
Evelyn is a delight and a treasure whom Deer Park are so fortunate to have in their care. Thank you Evelyn’s family for trusting us with such a precious person.”