UTTOXETER came to a standstill last week as hundreds of mourners gave a beautiful tribute befitting of a ‘wonderful woman with a glorious smile’.
The passing of popular mother-of-two Lisa Oldham following a tragic accident at her home in Wood Lane, Uttoxeter, last month has touched many in the close-knit community.
That was truly shown as St Mary’s Parish Church had mourners, unable to fit in to the church, listening to the service in the grounds — so beloved was the 38-year-old housewife.
Mrs Oldham’s coffin, which was covered in her family’s handprints, including her 16-year-old son Douglas, 12-year-old daughter Ellie and husband Richard, was carried into the church on Thursday to the strains of the song Pie Jesu, sang immaculately by Uttoxeter singer Maisy Hepburn.
The emotional service was taken by Reverend Sue Willets, while hymns were accompanied by Lichfield Cathedral’s Chamber Choir.
Readings included a moving rendition of the classic poem Funeral Blues by WH Auden by Mrs Oldham’s brother Glyn Douglas and all the tributes were met with a spontaneous round of applause.
The first tribute to Mrs Oldham was paid by Pearl Roebuck who spoke of her friend’s ‘stunning blue eyes’ as well as affectionately calling her a ‘jammy gambler’.
She said: “Lisa had the competitive Douglas streak — she was a competent horse rider and a very good card player, while her all-time favourite was winning at the races.
“She was so special. She was a wonderful woman with a glorious smile and her generosity was hard to surpass.” The packed congregation heard about Mrs Oldham’s love of cooking and particularly her love of the races, with her family being great supporters of Uttoxeter Racecourse.
A eulogy was read by the executive director at the racecourse David MacDonald and former course manager Rod Street — both family friends.
Mr MacDonald said: “Lisa’s smile was enchanting — it drew you in and was the very essence of her personality.
“She had a bubbly personality and it was that which rubbed off on everybody who was lucky enough to come into contact with her.
“Her true love was her family and they were the centre of everything she did.” Mr Street spoke about Mrs Oldham’s devotion to her family, including her parents Peter and Linda Douglas.
He said: “Lisa had four special men in her life her dad Peter to whom she was completely devoted. She called him her hero and he called Lisa his princess.
“Her husband Richard — who she called my Richard. Her loving brother Glyn and last but not least her son Douglas — who is 16 going on 26 and inherited his mum’s wonderful smile and ability to charm the birds from the trees.
“She also had two special ladies — Ellie — the daughter that no mother could be prouder of.
She inherited her beautiful looks and she is a fighter like her mum.
“Lisa’s mother Linda was everything to her — her mum and her best friend. When they spoke on the phone Lisa would always sign off with ‘I’m going now — love you mum’.
“Lisa’s heart was with her family and she left them with so many happy memories. We knew her, we loved her and she will be in our hearts forever.” The service ended with another stunning performance by Maisy Hepburn, this time of the heartbreaking Time To Say Goodbye, and Mrs Oldham’s coffin was carried out to one of her favourite songs — I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith.
She was later buried in Uttoxeter Cemetery.