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The passing today of Yvonne Collins

I am saddened to report the passing earlier today (Tuesday, September 07, 2010) of Yvonne Collins, a dear friend of mine for more than 60 years, after a courageous battle with cancer and then suffering a paralyzing stroke.

Dan Wooding with Yvonne and Norma
Wooding at their home in Southern California

Her daughter, Dawn, made the announcement today in a message which read, “It is with deep sadness that I write to tell you our dear mother passed away this morning at around 2.15 am. She was in her own lovely light room in the listed building that was her nursing home [at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading] for the last four days of her life, surrounded by flowers, her and dad’s paintings, welsh love spoons, cards, music, photos and the love of her family.

“Myself and my two younger sisters were with her. We talked to her and read out her favorite prayers for hours before she passed. She was not in any pain and, after passing, her face was very peaceful, with a smile on her lips. We expect to hold the funeral sometime late next week at St. Peter’s Earley, Reading, where we held Dad’s funeral. We will, of course, be in touch to let you know when a date and time has been confirmed.

“In great sorrow and with much love, Dawn.”

The Collins family in earlier times

I had known Yvonne Collins (nee Price), since my childhood days. Yvonne’s mother, Mrs. Helen Price, was the organist/pianist for many years at The Sparkbook Mission, Birmingham, England, of which my father, the Rev. Alfred Wooding, was the pastor for 30 years. In fact, Mrs. Price was my piano teacher and I have to admit that I was her worst student, failing all my exams and still not able to play the piano. Still, she always forgave me.

Yvonne’s father, Cyril Price, was a marvelous tenor singer originally from Wales who would often honor us with beautiful solos such as “The Holy City” during the services and she and her sister, Marcelle, were both regulars with me, and my sister, Ruth in the Sunday School there.

It had been a really tough year for Yvonne, whose husband, the Reverend Canon Fred Collins, an Anglican clergyman, and a dear friend of the Wooding family, passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, in Reading, UK, after a long battle with cancer.

Both Fred and Yvonne came to stay with Norma and myself a couple of years ago and were then both in great spirits.

If you would like to write to Dawn with a message of encouragement, you can do so at:

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