Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Jean Hanner 4th November 1941 – 4th July 2022

From the Parish News – September 2022.

After 61 years living in Denton, happily married to Michael Hanner, Jean sadly died on 4th July. Her Funeral Service at St. Mary's Church on 25th August, was officiated by the Rev. Bruno Boldrini with a large congregation present.

Jean's parents, Wilfred and Helen Roberts, lived in Rotherham. Jean was the eldest of their five children but sadly her mother, Helen, passed away after giving birth to Jean's twin brothers. There followed a difficult period in Jean's life when a future step-mother caused a lot of unhappiness. At the age of eleven the family moved to Lowestoft. Jean vividly remembered travelling in the back of the removal van with her twin brothers standing in the cot (don't tell Health and Safety!). During her school days in Lowestoft she made a close friendship with Ann Nelson which lasted for the rest of their lives with regular visits between their homes. Unfortunately Ann was unable to attend the funeral.

Jean's first employment was at the Pye electrical factory in Lowestoft prior to coming to Denton, when seventeen, as a live-in Nanny to Dick and Mary Johnson at Sunbeam Cottage. This is when she met Michael who lived just down the road. She later worked in the N & N hospital from where occasionally Michael would pick her up on his motorcycle to go to the cinema or dances.

Jean and Michael married in 1961 at St. Mary's Church. She was given away by her future brother-in-law Ted. She at last found happiness, after her difficult childhood, with Mrs. Ethel Hanner and her family who welcomed her with open arms. She became one of the extended family who would meet every Sunday afternoon at Norwich Road each bringing an item of food. Jean's Lemon Curd tarts became a favourite, becoming fondly known as “Turd Tarts”.

Once they were married, after a short while living in a caravan, they moved to the flat at Glebe Farm where Michael worked with the Skinner family. Jean worked at Earsham Hall school. In 1964 Karen was born, followed in 1966 by Mark, when the family moved to 5 Globe Close. In 1973, the year Lindsey was born, they moved to 5 Trunch Hill which is still the family home.

When the children were small she did various cleaning jobs, and sometimes went apple picking with her sister-in-law Vivienne. She worked for a year at Denton School canteen until the school closed in 1978, when she went on to the Harleston schools as a Dinner Lady. She worked at A.S.H.S. for 20 years before having to retire owing to her Diabetes illness.

While the children were young they had various holidays, including Butlins holiday camps, and in later years they went on coach trips both here and abroad, sometimes with their good friends George and Jean Nobbs. Jean was a member of the W.I. and enjoyed their activities. She helped with the Sunday School outings and made clothes for the children in the Nativity plays and DVC productions. In later years she loved having her four Grandchildren to stay, taking them to the playing field where she would inevitably meet her friend Jean Nobbs who provided them with refreshments.

Covid restrictions made things difficult during her closing years, but she and Michael managed to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary and she was particularly thrilled to have a card of congratulation from the Queen. For the first six days after her admission to hospital no visitors were allowed, but on her very last days visitors were allowed, two at a time.

Our sympathy and condolences go to Michael, Karen, Mark and Lindsey with their families and particularly her four loving Grandchildren.

A dearly loved lady whose family were paramount in her life.

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