Mrs Shirley Gunn


Shirley was born on 25th July 1935 to Horace and Florence Patmore at 12 Cannons Lane in Hatfield Broad Oak.  She was their sixth child and had three older brothers: Stanley, Eric and Kenny and two older sisters: Jean and Phyllis. Two years later Joy her younger sister was born.

Sadly, Shirley’s Mother passed away when she was five but her Father managed to continue to work and keep the family together with the help of his parents and Shirley’s older siblings.

Shirley often told us how she and Joy would be sent to collect the family’s casserole meal from their Granny in Cage End and on the way home they would pick out and eat several pieces of meat, leaving very little for the rest of the family.

She spent all her school years at St Mary’s in Hatfield Broad Oak and seemed to have enjoyed life even though they didn’t have very much. She recalled the occasions when her Father had been out to the pub.  When he returned home a little worse for wear he would sit her and Joy on his knees and sing “Two little girls in blue” to them and promise them the earth. 

After leaving school, Shirley worked at the Cottage hospital in Hatfield Broad Oak. She then went to work as ‘a live in Nanny/Home help’ for a family in Woodside Green. On her day off she used to cycle home to Hatfield Broad Oak to see her family.  She then decided to move back home and she went to work at the Egg Packing factory at Great Canfield.

Shirley met her husband George Gunn during one her trips to the pictures in Bishop’s Stortford. On her way home she had a problem with her bicycle and George stopped to help her and then rode home with her to make sure she was ok. That was the start of their romance and they were married on 6th March 1954 at St Mary’s Church in Hatfield Broad Oak when she was 18 years old.

Shirley and George had four children Glynis, Nigel and twins Kevin and Keith. Twins were not expected so it was quite a shock for Shirley to be told there was another baby to come after the first one arrived. The family lived at 18 Barnfield and Shirley and George remained there for over 60 years. They made an effort to take the children for holidays; visiting Shirley’s older sister in Southport or staying at the sea side, mainly Walton on Naze or California Cliffs at Great Yarmouth.

When the children were growing up Shirley worked some evenings and weekends as a waitress at the Gi Gi restaurant situated on the outskirts of the village. She met several celebrities during the time she worked there as it was very much the place to go at that time. She also worked as a bar maid at the Cock, waitressed at the Countryman in Hatfield Heath and as an assistant Manager at the Little Chef in Takeley.

In later life, Shirley and George enjoyed their many holidays abroad often having two or more a year, often  returning to places like Cyprus, Malta and Menorca which seemed to be their favorite destinations. She was a wonderful, caring and loving Mother to her four children, Grandmother to her nine grandchildren and Great Grandmother to her fourteen great grandchildren. Nothing was ever too much for her when it came to babysitting, playing games with the children and generally helping the family out.  She loved having visits from the grandchildren and great grandchildren and would always get lots of toys out for them.

Due to her progressing Vascular Dementia Shirley needed 24/7 care and spent her last years as a resident in Redbond Lodge Care home and was cared for with compassion, dignity and respect.


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Charity details

British Heart Foundation

From funding life saving research, to campaigning for those affected by heart and circulatory diseases. Your donations are changing lives.

Registered Number 225971

Alzheimer's Society

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. Someone develops it every three minutes and there’s currently no cure.

We know it is scary facing up to it, but we must confront the biggest health and social care challenge of our time.

Thanks to your support, Alzheimer’s Society is facing dementia head on. Whether you’re a fundraiser, donor, partner, or affected by dementia in any way, we’re working with you to build a movement. Inspired by your voices, we’re leading the way in support, society and research.

As the largest and most influential dementia charity in the UK, we are calling on everyone to unite. Working together we know we will achieve our vision - a world without dementia.

Registered Number 296645

Messages of condolence

The best mum inlaw ever, love and miss you Xxx

Mr Robin Perry

In loving memory of our dear Mum & Nan. You will always be in hearts. All our love always Glynis & Marie xx xx

Mrs Glynis Perry

So sorry for the loss of a lovely lady.

Mr John Gregory

Service details

Cremation Service

20 April, 2022 11:30

Parndon Wood Crematorium

Parndon Wood Road, Harlow, CM19 4SF

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