Fond farewell to inspiring former Garstang district nurse

Former  District Nurse Maureen Preston
Former District Nurse Maureen Preston

A moving tribute has been paid to a former Garstang district nurse who has died at the age of 80.

Maureen Preston had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

In a varied career she had worked as a nurse in different parts of the county.

Most recently she worked from Garstang’s Windsor Surgery.

This week husband John said: “The family will continue to walk in Maureen’s footsteps - approaching each day with gusto and positivity; taking courage in approaching life’s challenges; and simply being a ‘better person’ each and every day.”

He added: “As a dedicated professional, always ready to go the extra mile, she was much loved and respected by all who knew her.”

Her funeral takes place at Preston Crematorium at 1pm tomorrow (Thursday January 10) and donations to Parkinson’s UK will be welcomed.

Maureen, from Nateby, was born into a family of cotton weavers in Barrowford and first met John at Sunday school in Nelson when they were teenagers.

She followed her parents into the cotton trade and became a weaver after leaving school.

John said: “At 15 years of age, Maureen left school and took up employment as a cotton weaver at the same mill as her parents, where, after training, she worked four looms. This was piece work and you only got paid for the unblemished cloth you produced.

“The hard work and discipline of the mill forged the Maureen we know and at 19 years of age she left her well-paid job for the pittance she received as a trainee nurse.”

Maureen was a nurse at Burnley Victoria Hospital when they married in August 1960. Following the birth of children Beverley and Helen she temporarily left nursing to care for her family, returning to work in casualty.

The family then moved to Lancaster and John recalled: “It was whilst at Lancaster that Maureen first became a District Nursing Sister attached to a local surgery and this was to

become her lifetime career.”

The couple bought the land at Nateby upon which their much loved home was eventually built.

A move to Accrington followed, but on John’s retirement they returned to Nateby.

The couple both enjoyed motorcycling, their dogs and walking the Dales and Lake District fells, as well as spending time with their grandchildren. They have happy memories of cycling holidays and a canal boat holiday with them.

Six years ago a fall meant it was no longer possible for Maureen to be cared for at home.

She died on Christmas Eve in the ambulance returning her from hospital to Garstang's Cornmill Nursing Home.

John added: “Maureen was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother enveloping her family in her warmth and kindness.”