25 January 1919 - 2 November 2011
Today would have been my Nan's birthday. She would have been 93 today. Sadly she passed away suddenly last November. Her funeral was held at the Bury St Edmunds Crematorium and we hope to have her ashes added to my Grandfather's grave back in Loughton Essex sometime in the Spring this year - her final wish.
Elsie was the grand-daughter of the formidable Ruth Orchard (nee Slaughter) and the daughter of the lovely Emily Goudge (nee Orchard). She was one of four children - older sister Emily and younger siblings Georgina (Jean) and Thomas (known as Ron!). She married Ernest Charles Eden in 1938 and they had 5 children Brian, Ronald, Anthony, Jeffrey and Georgina. She had 8 Grandchildren (I am one of them), 16 Great-Grandchildren and 8 Great-Great-Grandchildren.
Sadly her beloved Ernest died in 1960 when their youngest child Gina was only a few months old. She carried on raising a family alone. A family that included both a baby daughter and young son to grown up sons who made her a grandmother the following year. (The age gap between the eldest child and the youngest was a staggering 20 years!). Many years later she married her second husband Sidney Robins. Elsie, Sid and her daughter and eldest son moved to Suffolk. A few years later Sid passed away. Elsie never remarried and spent the rest of her life looking after her eldest son Brian.
Elsie was a formidable woman, who did not suffer fools. She was as tough as old boots and you always knew what she thought of you! She didn't always show her feelings easily - not many of our Edens do - but she loved her family fiercely. Her boys were her world and when her daughter passed away in 2003 she was devastated.
In her younger days she was a keen swimmer, winning various badges and awards including one for life-saving, and of course where she met my granddad Ernest. She loved a party and had a great sense of humour. She had a real joy for life and a mischievous sparkle in her eyes! Before her eye sight began to fail she loved to read and she loved knitting. She also couldn’t resist a wordsearch or puzzle book. However one of her biggest passions was bingo. She suffered with bad knees (an aliment she passed on to nearly all her sons) but miraculously her knees would be cured when a Bingo Hall was insight and then she would be off like a rocket and no-one could keep up with her!
I hope wherever she is now she is in a bingo hall where she always wins!!