A former Leek woman has died in America.
Doreen Wetherington (née Taylor) was once from Picton Street, Leek, Staffordshire. His parents were Harry and Florence Boughey Taylor.
Friend Philip Brough and his wife met Doreen on a trip to America.
He said: “Three years ago, with my wife and friends, I was in a hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States. As we got into the elevator, with an American lady, the lady suddenly interrupted our conversation by asking, “You are from England. I said, ‘Yes’, after which she said,’ My mother is from England; a small town near Manchester – Leek.
“I replied, I’m from Leek and, full of excitement, she said, ‘You have to meet my mom. She’s downstairs. I was rushed downstairs and to a sheltered place where an elderly lady was sitting and introduced to Doreen.
“Doreen and I have been friends on Facebook since and several times a week I sent him, via social media, news of Leek and photos, some of which I took myself and others (the majority) which I uploaded to the various Facebook Leek Group Sites. A big ‘thank you’ to those who contributed photographs, old and new, to these groups, for you made a very old lady very happy. She loved the photographs and the memories they evoked.
“Doreen Taylor was born in 1927 and lived above the butcher’s shop on Picton Street. In 1944, during the war, many American soldiers gathered at the Blackshaw Moor military camp for final training before the invasion of France. Ball Haye Hall was a social club for American soldiers. One of them was a young soldier named Lee Wetherington.
“Lee and Doreen met and it was almost literally a case of ‘love at first sight.’ When the war ended, Lee rushed to Leek, as soon as circumstances permitted, to claim the hand of his love. In September 1954, they were married at St Edward’s Church, which was always referred to in our communications as “your” church and “my” church.
“Lee returned to the United States and Doreen applied for the necessary permits. It took almost a year before Doreen could sail to America and a romantic reunion. The couple lived in North Carolina and Lee, after leaving the military, became a highway patrol police officer.
“Their marriage was blessed with three children – Lorraine, Lee Jnr and Phillip – seven grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren; who all loved this lady of English origin. After many happy years together, Lee passed away in October 1987.
“I will miss our social contacts several times a week; and I’m sure older readers, who might remember a pretty teenage girl living in Picton Street who passed away one day, will rejoice to learn about the wonderful and busy life she led in America. She will be sadly missed by all her extended family and many friends. “