Pears Connections

George and Muriel Pears

George Dunstin Pears

1912 - 1990

George was the son of Winfred and Maud Pears. George was schooled in Madura and later at Udyar in Madras. He started his career on South Indian Railways, and ended it as an 'A' grade driver in Villupuram. He loved to drive steam engines and declined promotions to office jobs. He was a railwayman through and through. He married Muriel Wood in 1930. (see Muriel later). During his time in Villupuram he was President of the Anglo Indian Association and loved the functions it organised. He loved dancing and would be seen on the floor most of the night. During the 2nd world war George was a Seargent with South India Railway Volunteer Regt/rfls.

George took early retirement from the railways and came to England where he worked with the Inland Revenue at Hammersmith. He lived in Wimbledon. then Morden and finally settled in Addiscombe Surrey. He was a proud man with lots of jocularity. He enjoyed his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. He died very suddenly on 28th August 1990 and his ashes are at rest at Greenlawns, Warlingham, Surrey.

Muriel Margaret Pears

Muriel was born on 12th April 1912, the daughter of Francis and Caroline Wood. She was convent educated (Tangaserry, Kerala and later Madura). She acquired a very simple but very strong faith; and developed a great devotion to Our Blessed Lady; and made regular pilgrimages to Lourdes, Fatima, Aylesford, Walsingham and Rome despite her advancing years.
Muriel was married at 18 to George; and together they raised 4 sons and 1 daughter. All 5, when at secondary school age, were sent to Catholic Boarding Schools. You can imagine the sacrifices that had to be made considering the financial implications of this. Quite an achievment.
She not only helped her children get a sound education but also laid a deep foundation for theirs and their children and grandchildren’s faith.
Muriel was a very determined lady with a very strong will; and most of the time she wore her heart on her sleeve. She showed tremendous courage in the face of adversity. She even made a trip to India in her 85th year to attend a grandchild’s wedding and to meet with family and old friends. We have wonderful memories of her grace and pleasure that she showed when given a surprise party for her 80th birthday. It was a marvellous family occasion with Audrey joining us from India.
She was extremely charitable, even to ordering an extra lunch each day for a less fortunate guest who was invited to join the family at table. Three such ladies benefited reqularly and became like family members.
Muriel joined Flo’s Mum and helped Duncan & Flo through a deep crisis when they lost their baby Rita in 1960 though she was hundreds of miles away at the time.
Muriel & George came to England in 1961where she adapted very quickly to life in the UK, especially with regard to cooking family meals and housework, things she was not at all familiar with because these were previously done for her by others.
As a young wife and mother she and George enjoyed ballroom dancing; and attended balls regularly until family commitments took over.
When George passed away rather suddenly in 1990, much to everybody’s surprise, Muriel decided to live on alone in their home, and coped admirably until October 1995 when she had a severe stroke; and was given just a few hours to live; but recovered almost completely in 2 months.
However, she was realistic enough to know that she could cope no longer on her own but needed 24hr monitoring as she was also a diabetic. She deliberated for some time and then expressed her wish to go to a Catholic Nursing Home. A place was found for her at Wickham Court Nursing Home where she spent quality time and 5 very happy years. She endeared herself to the staff, inspite of the ocassional tantrum.
Until quite recently her memory was second to none. She was a mine of information with regard to family history and had instant recall of all birthdays, anniversaries, relationships etc. This showed the importance she placed on the family and this source of information will be greatly missed.
Muriel dearly loved her children, her 13 grandchildren and 23 great grand children; and they reciprocated. Muriel’s passing must be the end of an era for her large family.

A Requiem mass for Mum was held at church of Our Lady of Anunciation in Addiscombe, Surrey on 28th September 2001. The service was conducted by Fr. Peter Stoddart, co-celebrated by Fr. Paddy Murtagh and assisted by Anthony Pears. In addition to the large family, a number of friends, acquaintences and parishioners attended to make a large church seem pretty full and the hymns given full voice. Mums beautiful oak veneered coffin with brass Cross shaped handles was surmounted with a full length crucifix. It was covered in flowers and lay on a catafalque in the centre of the ailse at the front of the church. It was a lovely service, very personal because Mum was well known and loved in the parish.

Hymns (accompanied by organist)
Entry: The Lord is my Shepherd
Offertory: O Lord my God when I in Awesome Wonder
Communion: Hail Queen of Heaven
Recession: Paradisia (To the tune of Amazing Grace)

Reading by David Pears

Offertory Procession: Milton & Joan, Sten & Mary, Walford

Eulogy by Fr Peter Stoddart

Bidding Prayers (by some greatgrandchildren)

Daniel Clarke: Lord, please accept all the good things grandma has done.
Lord, hear us.

Jack Dodd: In your mercy, Lord, give Grandma eternal life.
Lord, hear us.

Daniel Pyatt: Let us not forget to pray for all who are affected by the loss of grandma.
May God console them in their sorrow.
Lord, hear us.

Lorraine Pears: Increase our faith, O Lord, and strengthen our hope.
Lord, hear us.

Emma Pyatt: We pray for all those who cared for Grandma in the hospitals she has been in, and in the nursing home where she breathed her last.
Lord, hear us.

Marie Pears: We pray for all those who are victims of violence.
For those who cause violence, may they see the evil of their deeds.
Lord, hear us.

Bethany Clarke: Let us all join together and ask our Blessed Lady to
pray for Grandma and for all of us here today:
Hail Mary……

Family Attendees:
Duncan, Flo, David, Joe, Gerry, Richard, Catherine, Matthew, Daniel & Emma
Tony, Imelda, Anthony, Marie, Cara
Milton, Joan, Jeffrey, Louise, Liam, Jack, Beth & Aislin
Sten, Mary, Anne, Audrey & Peter, Lorraine, Amy
Walford, John, Daniel, Bethany, Simon, Claire, Lauren & Kieran.
Among other mourners were:
Fr. Raybould, Imelda’s mum Eileen Heffernan, Ian Trower & Cynthia, Mary Garvey & Colin, Margaret (Liam’s sister), Budi & Nevill Desmier, Newton & Mary, Peter Paine.

After the service several cars together with three limousines carrying the close family slowly followed the hearse to Croydon Crematorium where after a short service by Fr. Stoddart, we said our final goodbyes to Mum.

We later all got together at Duncan’s house for some refreshments. It was a fine sunny day so we spent most of the time in the garden. This was just right especially for the younger great grandchildren. We owe lots of thanks to Duncan & Flo who made ALL the arrangements for a day (and leading up to the day) that went as well as it could.

Muriel's ashes were laid to rest next to her husband George at Greenlawns, Warlingham, Surrey

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