Caring woman with a great sense of humour

Date: Monday 15th April 2019

A WOMAN who spent her life caring for others has died at the age of 95.

Freda Faith was born at Castletown, Penrith, one of seven children to Lawrence Grisedale Wilson and his wife Harriet. Her siblings were the late Ruth (Moffat), Dorothy, Stan, Fred, Lawrence and Audrey.

Freda would often be required to look after the younger children, and it was then that her lifelong vocation of looking after others first began to shine.

Although left-handed, at school she was forced to write with her right hand and her family felt this was the cause of a stammer, which she still had when her children were small.

On leaving school, Freda became an apprentice to dressmaker Elsie Smith and it was at Elsie’s wedding that she met her own future husband, Frank Reginald Faith, whose parents ran Penrith’s Station Hotel.

She served at Catterick and the Isle of Wight during the Second World War. Frank went to India during the war and in 1947 returned to the UK with malaria. It was then that Freda accepted his proposal of marriage and they wed later that year. They went on to have three children — Graham (who died in 1978), Alan and Anne.

Frank got a job as a teacher in Southsea, and they made the move south. Freda began taking in bed and breakfast guests in 1962, but Alan recalls the family was always spending time looking at houses back in the Penrith area and the couple finally returned in 1988, initially to Appleby, then Cold Springs Park and Castletown, Penrith.

Freda was a woman who could laugh at anything and it was her humour which enabled her to get the best out of life.

She always looked after sick relatives and had once commented that she would have liked to be a nursing auxiliary. During her spare time, she enjoyed knitting, drawing and baking. She also had an allotment and even after giving it up, she had part of her paving in her garden lifted so that she still had a plot in which to grow vegetables.

When Frank, who had suffered from thrombosis since 1962, developed chronic asthma, Freda looked after him. Despite never having travelled abroad until 1978, she made good use of the respite weeks she was given and made trips to Peking and Egypt.

She also enjoyed trips back to the south of England to visit friends she had made during their time there.

While caring for Frank, she became close friends with many of the district nurses and she did fundraising for them and the Jubilee ward at Penrith hospital.

Freda remained extremely fit and active until, in 2015, she contracted flu and was bedbound for two months. She never regained full health and had remained largely housebound since then. Her funeral was held yesterday at St Andrew’s Church, Penrith.