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Dorothy Edith Grace Langford

Also known as: Diddy Didi Auntie Did.


Picture of Dorothy Edith Grace Langford.

DOROTHY EDITH GRACE LANGFORD... was a very exceptional lady!
She was respected and well loved by a wide variety of friends, relations and contacts, both personally and through her work as a Spiritualist Medium and Healer. She passed away peacefully at her home at Monkleigh in Devon on the 1st of April 2010, aged 88 years, reunited with her beloved son Ashley and her dear younger sister Kathleen, who had died in Canada only 40 days before. It had been her wish to stay in her home rather than go into hospital so her friend Ajeet and I had gone down from London to be with her. We were joined by another friend, Cathy, from Wales and, of course, her friend and Carer, Tina, who had brightened Dorothy's days during the past few years.

I met Dorothy 15 years ago when she lived at her Auntie Gert's house just around the corner from me in West London. Dorothy had been looking after her Auntie, who had lived to be 105. We were waiting for half an hour at a bus stop and started chatting. We seemed to hit if off immediately and, by the time the bus finally arrived, somehow knew we would be lifelong friends! We both had interests in Canada and decided to get together to share stories and photos etc. This was the start of many such meetings, meals and outings and, before long, Dorothy was also sharing Christmas holidays and other festivals with my sister Jan & her husband Richard, our Mum, Tim & Sue and the rest of the family at Windsor.

We all grew to love Dorothy and, along with my niece Mel and her husband Mark, and close friends Pat and Eddie, I think we looked on her as an 'Auntie' figure - or even a 'Supernan' to my grandson Douglas and great nephews James and Thomas and, when their sister Grace was born Dorothy was delighted that she had been given one of her own names! In October 2001 she thoroughly enjoyed being the subject of a splendid 80th birthday celebration at Pat and Eddie's house in Berkshire and loved having her photo taken individually with every guest!

Very soon, I was regularly accompanying Dorothy for holidays down to North Devon where she had spent her childhood, sharing the driving and enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery in that county. In particular, we established a “favourite eating place” at Westwood Ho! namely, “The Sunshine Cafe”, where we would get the very best fish and chips and mugs of hot chocolate whenever we visited. We would then drive up to “Braddicks” hotel car park on top of the cliffs where Dorothy looked at the wonderful sea view and had a nap, whilst I would go for a long walk along the beach and treat myself to a “Hockings ice-cream” - the best in Devon!

One of Dorothy's passions was her love of birds and animals. She was a generous supporter of many animal charities and was a member of the RSPB. In her own garden, she cared for her birds with dedication and was rewarded by lively views of the bird table and hanging feeders from the picture window in her kitchen. She was particularly fond of owls, which was very evident from the number of ornaments, pictures and novelties in their image throughout the house. In her last year or two when she was no longer able to get outside, she would sit by the back door watching her birds coming near to pick up the bread she threw to them and she was also delighted to have a little hedgehog visiting her. However, her favourite charity was also near to home, being the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The local Station at Appledore will hopefully benefit from your Donations made in Dorothy's memory either by way of this page or from the main website.

In 1999 I was involved in a road traffic accident and was having bad neck and back pain. Dorothy took me up to The Ideal Home Exhibition to meet a representative of the company Niagara, for whom she had worked as a representative, to see if there were any aids that might help me. I didn't find anything in my price range but Dorothy ended up ordering a luxurious reclining electrically operated armchair for herself, which she said I could use when I was down in Devon. That chair certainly served her well for over ten years as it eventually became a bed for her when she was no longer able to go upstairs. Whilst at the Exhibition I introduced Dorothy to the aperitif Campari mixed with orange juice which soon became her favourite tipple, not forsaking her occasional snifter of whisky (sometimes poured over her trifle!) and the traditional half-pint of draft cider from her local pub over the road, The Bell.

Dorothy visited her family in Canada every summer and would come back home as brown as a berry. She was a real sun worshipper and still looked good in her bikini even in her eighties! Despite having suffered a coronary some years before and later sporting a pacemaker, she loved to go to the health clubs to enjoy swimming, steam baths and, especially, the sauna. She would often go with her neighbour and good friend, Stella, to her gym in Richmond, and she also visited health farms and spas in Hampshire and Devon.

I met her sister, Kath, from Canada when she came for a holiday in England many years ago with her two grandaughters, Tanya and Andrea. In 2001 Dorothy's friend Eileen came over from Canada for a holiday. I joined them down in Devon and they were both very happy to meet up with Brenda, another old friend who lived at Westward Ho! Dorothy really enjoyed her holidays and had told me many a tale of the fun she had on her jaunts around the Continent and North Africa in her younger days. She also had some wonderful holidays in more recent times, including Italy, Cyprus, and the Dominican Republic, the latter being the only one she didn't enjoy as it was too hot, even for her!

One of the trips to Canada with her friends Ajeet, Jatinder & Manmohan and Marilyn, involved a long train journey from east to west and, unfortunately, Dorothy was taken ill and could not fully enjoy The Rockies and Vancouver. In 2003 she travelled with her sister to Saskatchewan, place of her birth, and once again was taken ill and had to be hospitalised for some time. After a further stay in hospital in London, she eventually returned to Devon where she spent her remaining years amongst friends and neighbours. In October 2006 Dorothy arrived at The Commodore Hotel at Instow for a 'quiet birthday dinner' only to be greeted by a roomful of friends for a surprise 85th birthday party, which was celebrated in style. One year later, after a spell in Bideford Hospital, it was felt that Dorothy needed more help and care at home so Pam and Re started to come once a week and Tina became her daily Carer (called by Dorothy her “Little Angel”).

Dorothy's funeral was arranged by her oldest family friends, Joyce and Helen. It took place on the 15th April at Barnstaple on a beautiful sunny day and was well supported by friends and relatives. There was also a memorial service in London on the 18th April at the Southall Spiritualist Church, that was a worthy celebration of her life and work. There follows a little verse that I read at the memorial service that had been sent to "Auntie Did with love" by her niece Wendy and husband Cliff in Canada, about the meaning of her name:

"DOROTHY - Gift of God...

She can laugh at herself; she has a bubbly outgoing personality; someone who is handy with odds and ends; a person who is sociable and fun; praiseworthy; seeks the goodwill of others; an individual with a beautiful smile; works with a positive attitude; sincere, honourable and proud."

[That sums up our Dorothy very well and I, also, am proud – that she called me her “Bestest Pal”.]

***************

It was not possible for me to read my contribution at the funeral, so I include it here in her memory:

ALWAYS TO BE LOVED AND NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN:

Your can shed tears that she has gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind; be empty and turn your back,
Or, you can do what she would want...
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Gone are the times we used to share
In our hearts you are always there.

***************

Val Murray
May 2010.

Added by: Val Murray on 10 May 2010.



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Picture of Dorothy Edith Grace Langford.
Picture of Dorothy Edith Grace Langford
Picture of Dorothy Edith Grace Langford
 

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