COMPASSION, concern and care – these were just three of the words used to describe Doris Hern’s attitude to life.
Dozens of people gathered to pay tribute to the 106-year-old at a thanksgiving service yesterday following her death last month.
Friends spoke warmly about how Doris had helped so many people throughout her own long life.
Jenny Bartlett, of Foster Road, Anglesey, Gosport, led the tributes at United Reformed Church Bury Road in Stoke Road, Gosport.
She said: ‘No-one forgot her once they had met her.
‘There were few areas of the life of this borough in which she wasn’t involved.’
Doris, of Thalassa Nursing Home, Alverstoke, died on October 31 – just months after celebrating her 106th birthday on May 19 this year.
The congregation heard Doris was born in Stamshaw, Portsmouth, and was five when the First World War broke out in August 1914.
She attended Gosport’s commemoration of the war on August 4 at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Doris trained as a nurse and in-between the two world wars worked in slum areas of London – carrying with her a saucepan to boil water on any home visits. She returned to Hampshire in the 1930s and married John Hern in 1937.
During the war she ran a wing of Emsworth Hospital, taught staff to drive and even chauffeured the Rowlands Castle butcher on his rounds.
After the war the husband and wife moved to Lee-on-the-Solent, where Doris joined the Friends of Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Brenda Sharp, from the league, said: ‘It was a privilege to know her and we are proud such a remarkable lady was a member of our league.’
Her close friend Trish Kelly, of Tebourba Drive, Alverstoke, added: ‘I’ve loved every minute of Doris.’
Doris had chosen the hymns for the service and picked the St Vincent Singers to perform at the thanksgiving.
Freeman of the borough Graham Hewitt, a friend, added: ‘She was an extremely astute and clever woman, someone who can be summed up in three words – concern, care and compassion.
‘It’s not the fact that she got to 106 that we remember her, it’s because of the care, compassion and love she gave to many people.’