Tributes to Woolbrook's 'selfless' Susan

PUBLISHED: 19:59 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:04 18 June 2010

TRIBUTES have been made this week to Susan Barton, 61, from Woolbrook, who devoted her time to helping others. The Reverend Ken Crooks, who will conduct Monday s service of thanksgiving for her life at Sidmouth Parish Church at 2.30pm,

TRIBUTES have been made this week to Susan Barton, 61, from Woolbrook, who devoted her time to helping others.

The Reverend Ken Crooks, who will conduct Monday's service of thanksgiving for her life at Sidmouth Parish Church at 2.30pm, said her death, from pancreatic and liver cancer "had been a great shock to all who knew her, and no less to the many who have worked with her."

Well-known for her work in Gaza, where she set up a Kindergarten, Susan was treasurer of Friends of Rose Lawn Care Home in All Saints Road, which is chaired by Mr Crooks.

He said: "For the last four years she has been proactive in organising activities for the benefit of the home, regularly assisting in playing the piano at religious services and was a driving force behind a number of fund raising events.

"Being a committed Christian, she valued the personal contact with many residents and enriched their lives by showing a personal interest in their wellbeing.

"Susan's firm grasp of the needs of the elderly, resulted from her personal care of both her mother and father in their latter years.

"This experience motivated her to do for others, via the Friends, what was possible and helpful at Rose Lawn."

A vicar's daughter, Susan was born at the Vicarage, Islington, in 1948. Shortly afterwards her parents, the Reverend Eric and Hilda Barton, moved to Yorkshire, then to Clifton in 1953.

She attended York Minster School for Girls and then Keighley Grammar when the family moved to Haworth.

In 1962 they moved again, to Bradford, and she attended the girl's grammar school.

She gained her Teachers Training Certificate at Darlington, County Durham and further music diploma at Dartington College of Music, Devon, becoming an excellent and versatile pianist.

She taught at schools in Alton, Bridgwater, Clifton, Bristol, and was deputy head at Silverton and head at Uplyme Primary until she took early retirement in 1996.

Her brother Chris, who with wife Polly will attend Monday's service, said:

"More recently she was an Offsted inspector, juggling this with a caring role for her mother; until she died in 1997, and...her father until 2006. She dedicated over 10 years to looking after them.

"Since mother died she enjoyed extensive travelling visiting five continents. She also visited her brother in Uganda five times between 2002 - 08 making friends there and supporting children with school fees."

Contracting diabetes did not deter her adventurous spirit. In the past three years she became involved with The Hope Christian Trust as an educational consultant at Christian schools in Gaza, Bethlehem and Hebron, dedicating much of her time to raising funds and visiting these places.

She will be missed in Sidmouth as a member of the short mat bowling club, local choral society, for her piano teaching, maths and English coaching and her work for Rose Lawn. She was an active member of All Saints Church.

Chris has received many tributes to Susan, including: "She was a wonderful friend, always able to give sound advice, support and encouragement.

"Sincere, committed and devoted to whatever she was doing, honest, faithful, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, generous, benevolent, hard-working ... are all words that describe her."

There will be a short cremation service on Monday at Exeter Crematorium for family and close friends. Donations in lieu of flowers, made payable to The Hope Christian Trust, should go to Potbury's Funeral Service, 107 High Street, Sidmouth, EX10 8LB.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald