17th September 1921 - April 2008
The funeral of Violet Gowlett took place at Takeley Chapel on Friday 2nd May after her death at the age of 86. The following comments are taken from the tribute by Phil Gowlett:
Born Violet Louise Smith 17 Sept 1921 at The Downs (now Little Braes), Stebbing, the youngest of 7 children born to Walter Smithy a farmer and Louise Gowers. Her own father was born at White Notley and grew up at Ranks Green, Fairstead before moving to Stebbing between 1892-96; Her mother was born at Stebbing;and her parents married at Dunmow in 1896 and lived at Stebbing for 28 years before moving to Brook Farm, Felsted which they bought in January 1924.
Violet shared a birthday with her oldest brother Fred though there were 24 years between them. Her other brothers and sisters Frank, Ted, Lily, Daisy 8. Charles were also all born at Stebbing between 1899-1913 - Violet outlived them all.
Her Dad farmed Brook Farm in Felsted with sons Fred & Ted for some 16 years during which time Violet attended Felsted Primary School and worked for a time in haberdashery at Lindsells Shop in Felsted. She then worked on her Dad's farm; and got attached to her neighbour Fred Gowlett whom she married 15 September 1951 at Felsted Church.
Her devout Christian faith was evident even in those early years. She was confirmed in 1929. Her nephew Peter recalls a 1st Prayer Book for Christmas in 1947; and that she spent a long time on her knees in prayer at night when staying with the family.
In every photo we see a contented smile, none more so than with her beloved son Christopher born 15th March 1953 and who died tragically 15th October 1991 bringing Violet much prolonged heartbreak. For over 20 years she had faithfully and devotedly visited Christopher twice weekly, first at Severalls Hospital then Turner Village, Colchester. During these visits she made many friends on the bus and elsewhere. She was equally devoted to my grandmother - her mother-in-law Clara who she and Fred nursed until her death in 1978 - in fact Violet died 30 years to the day that Clara died.
The fact that so many people are here today to pay their respect to Violet, is a testimony to the high esteem and the great affection she was held in.