Tributes to Ashwell community stalwart Stella after death aged 73
PUBLISHED: 08:29 11 August 2017
A community stalwart who was an active member of Ashwell for many years – and a former contributor to the Comet – has sadly passed away aged 73.
Originally from the north east of England, Stella Cohen moved to the village in 1984 – after her husband Bernard became curious about Ashwell & Morden station on his commute to London from where they then lived in Bury St Edmunds.
Son David said: “For mum, Ashwell was a unique setting. Where else could one find the nation’s greatest butchers, bakers, and a whole host of shops?
“She soon realised this was a special place that did quite well for itself and that certainly ticked a box with her. The inhabitants were very welcoming, and took our family to heart.”
Stella was described as an ‘active Ashwellian’. She and Bernard were leading members of the Ashwell Theatre Club throughout the 1980s and 1990s and, Stella was always at the forefront of each production.
She would take sons David, now 39, and Joss – who is three years younger – along to watch rehearsals from an early age and they always had a front row seat.
“She certainly saved a lot of money on babysitters this way!” David said.
Stella remained an active member of the theatre club after husband Bernard died in 1998, but David said “things weren’t quite the same without him” and she gradually stopped acting.
Stella was a school dinner lady at Ashwell Primary School for a number of years, and a receptionist at Ashwell Surgery until she retired in 2001.
An animal lover, Stella always had dogs and raced whippets and greyhounds.
With such firm roots in Ashwell, Stella was honoured to be asked by the Comet to be the regular contributor on behalf of Ashwell.
David said: “She would gather meticulously any news about upcoming events and was proud to be able to share any news with all that would read her articles.
“Many people would drop off flyers and notifications through her letterbox, sure in the news that she would share it with the world via the Comet.”
Stella moved across the border to South Cambs in 2008 but continued to be a part of Ashwell life.
David said: “Mum will be remembered fondly by those who knew her and that numbered quite a few as she was involved in most aspects of Ashwell life. As well as her two sons, she also leaves behind three grandchildren – William, Florence and Bernie.”
Her funeral took place at Harwood Park Crematorium in Stevenage on Wednesday last week and her family gave her a good send off afterwards at the Pig and Abbot in Abington Pigotts, South Cambs.
Donations to the RSPCA or British Heart Foundation are still possible at www.austins.co.uk – click ‘make a donation’ and input Stella Cohen.