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Mary RUSHTON

Mary RUSHTON

Female 1913 - 2008  (94 years)

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  • Name Mary RUSHTON 
    Born 5 Jul 1913  Oliver Street, Red Lane, Coventry Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 10 May 2008  Coventry Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 19 May 2008 
    • MARY GREENWOOD nee Rushton

      Mary was born on 5th July 1913 to John & Alice Rushton in Oliver St Coventry. She was the eldest child, having three younger brothers – John, Harry and James (Jim). Her parents had come down from Barrow-in-Furness, and her father found work as a skilled machinist. He was also a talented singer, often performing on the stage in his spare time both as a solo singer, and as part of a quartet called “Les Amis”. As the eldest daughter, it fell to her to keep an eye on her three rather unruly brothers, but she also had another role to fulfil – teaching them to dance.
      She was very close to her father, and when he fell ill with kidney disease, she would spend hours sitting at his bedside massaging his back to try and relieve the pain he was suffering. She was devastated when he died in 1933 aged only 49.
      Mary was a talented sketch artist, and when she was young used to draw film stars of the day from photographs. She also made some pen & ink drawings of old buildings in Coventry, some of which still hang on the wall in the house.
      Mary started work at the Coventry Co-operative Society, and then moved to the Council House as a comptometer operator – the forerunner to the computer! When she was new at the job, she came across some letters that read “FO”. When she asked what they meant, she was told “Fined out”. “That’s what I am trying to do!” she said, unaware of the different spelling of “FINED”.
      As was usual during the 1930’s Mary used to go to a lot of dances, and a friend of hers introduced her to a nice lad who had recently moved from Wolverhampton to digs in Coventry to work in the Electricity Showrooms. His name was Richard Greenwood, known to all as Dick. They became very close, but unfortunately the spectre of war was approaching, and Dick was drafted into the Royal Navy. They had to endure many periods apart, but managed to get married at St Mark’s Church in Coventry on May 11th 1940. Dick soon had to go back to the Navy, and undertook some hazardous tours of duty on Russian convoys. Whenever he came back to this country he would somehow get word to Mary, and she would travel to be with him – sometimes only for a weekend or so. One Christmas she learnt at short notice that he was coming in to port in Scotland, and took the train up there to meet him, arriving on Christmas Eve. They dined splendidly the next day on a tin of beef stew which she had taken up with her as rationing was the order of the day. Years later, the Coventry Evening Telegraph ran a competition inviting people to describe the best Christmas dinner they had ever had. Mary and Dick won first prize.
      Mary stayed in her house in Allesley Old Rd throughout the war, sheltering from Hitler’s might behind the settee in the lounge – even during the Blitz which devastated Coventry in 1940. She was not a person to be trifled with, as some Army personnel found out. They had set up an anti-aircraft battery close to her house, and the noise of the gun was deafening. She went out and remonstrated with them, frightening them to death as they did not realise anyone was still living in the area. They moved the gun further down the road.
      Dick returned from the War, and they soon had a baby girl, Jill, born in 1946. However tragedy struck, as Jill was taken ill with leukaemia and died in 1949. A son Ian was born in 1950, then Hugh came along in 1952.
      Mary had worked in the Electricity showrooms as a demonstrator for a time before the children came along, and when the boys moved into secondary school, went back part-time to the showrooms in Bedworth, then as a clerk in the main office at Sandy Lane Coventry. When Ian started work at the Electricity Board in 1967, they became an “electric family!”
      Since she was in her teens, Mary had always been interested in “Keep Fit”, and for about fifty years ran several classes a week. She was still teaching into her eighties, when she teamed up with a friend who played the keyboard, and they went to care homes to entertain the residents, and to show them how to do simple exercises to keep moving. It did not really occur to her that she was probably older than a lot of the residents she was teaching.
      Mary enjoyed travel, and went to Spain and Majorca many times with Dick. Later she went with Ian and Susan to Malta and Cyprus, and in her eighties, went with them for a whistle-stop tour of four US cities in eight days.
      As Mary got older her eyesight deteriorated, and Hugh ended up as her carer as he lived with her, although it was never entirely clear who looked after whom as she always had Hugh’s dinner cooked for him when he came home from work!
      Her deteriorating eyesight meant that she was unable to continue with one of her great loves, reading. However, with the help of the RNIB’s Talking Book service, she was still able to lose herself in a good book.
      She also a fan of Country & Western music, which she and Hugh would listen to on Saga radio on a Tuesday night.
      During her last illness, she said that “I have never felt so ill in all my life” and this was probably because, as a fit woman, she had rarely been ill throughout her life.
      Her death at the age of 94 is really the end of an era, as she outlived her three younger brothers, and we look back affectionately on a long life filled with love and humour.
    Person ID I000088  Mills/Rushton Family History
    Last Modified 21 May 2008 

    Father John RUSHTON,   b. 20 Sep 1884, Barrow in Furness Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Mar 1933, 4, Leopold Road, Coventry Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Alice PROCTER,   b. 1 Jun 1887, 91, Windermere Road, Lancaster Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jul 1961, Coventry Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 17 Oct 1908  Walney Parish Church, Barrow-in-Furness Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F000034  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Richard GREENWOOD,   b. 21 Oct 1910, Wolverhampton Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1986  (Age 75 years) 
    Married 11 May 1940 
    Children 
     1. Jill GREENWOOD,   b. 4 Jun 1945,   d. Jan 1949  (Age 3 years)  [Birth]
     2. Ian GREENWOOD,   b. 12 Nov 1950  (Age 71 years)  [Birth]
     3. Hugh GREENWOOD,   b. 7 May 1952  (Age 70 years)  [Birth]
    Family ID F000051  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Mary Greenwood nee Rushton
    Mary Greenwood nee Rushton

    Documents
    Mae West
    Mae West
    Shirley Temple
    Shirley Temple
    Jessie Matthews
    Jessie Matthews
    Evelyn Laye
    Evelyn Laye
    Elissa Landi
    Elissa Landi
    From "The Count of Monte Cristo"
    Greta Garbo
    Greta Garbo
    Marlene Dietrich
    Marlene Dietrich
    Old Ford Hospital, Coventry
    Old Ford Hospital, Coventry
    Golden Cross, Coventry
    Golden Cross, Coventry
    Cook Street Gate, Coventry
    Cook Street Gate, Coventry

    Albums
    Sketches by Mary Greenwood nee Rushton
    Sketches by Mary Greenwood nee Rushton (9)
    1930's
    Pencil sketches from photographs.
    Sketches of old Coventry