Mrs. Eleanor Pedlow

MRS. Eleanor Adelaide Pedlow, who has died aged 96, was the wife of the late Rev. J. C. Pedlow, a former minister of Downpatrick Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Pedlow, who was known to her family and many friends as Nell, passed away in Carryduff Nursing Home last Tuesday, December 11.

She was born in Derry in 1916 and was educated at Londonderry High School, Magee College and Trinity College, Dublin. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War she took up a position at a school in Littlehampton, West Sussex, where she taught English and languages.

While at Magee College, she met her future husband, Jack, whom she married in 1943. Mr. Pedlow’s first calling as a minister was to Letterkenny, where he and Mrs. Pedlow were to spend ten years. As well as being a busy mother, Mrs. Pedlow also fulfilled the demands of a minister’s wife.

In 1953 the family moved to Downpatrick and Mrs. Pedlow continued her busy life as a mother and a minister’s wife. She was very active in endeavours such as the Women’s Missionary Association — now the Presbyterian Women’s Association — and also undertook many other activities on behalf of the church, including organising garden fetes at the church manse on the Saul Road.

She supported her husband in his busy ministry and also helped in editing and illustrating several books which he published. She also managed to fit in some part-time teaching at Downpatrick Intermediate School.

A keen artist from childhood, she painted the scenery for operatic society productions. Then, with a number of other like-minded art enthusiasts, she began Downpatrick Art Society which staged its first exhibition in 1969. She was chairman of the art society for over 25 years and remained an honorary member.

Mrs. Pedlow was commissioned to paint several subjects over the years; she enjoyed sculpting and had a particular liking for portrait painting. Her work was shown in the Royal Ulster Academy, local museums and in local publications. In later years she collaborated with her brother in writing and illustrating a series of personalised children’s story books.

Following her husband’s retirement the couple moved to Spa for a short time before returning to Downpatrick in the 1980s when Mrs. Pedlow nursed her husband through illness in the final years of his life until his death in 1986.

Mrs. Pedlow had a strong sense of Christian duty, as well as a keen sense of humour which frequently surfaced. She always saw the good in people and made a considerable contribution to the wider community. A remarkable, highly intelligent and accomplished woman, she was loving, gentle and compassionate.

She lived a long and fulfilling life and it was only at the age of 94 that she could no longer continue to stay in her own home and moved to residential, then nursing care in Carryduff.

The Rev. Ernie Boggs conducted the funeral service in Downpatrick Presbyterian Church on Friday, December 14, after which interment was in the adjoining churchyard.

Mrs. Pedlow is survived by her children, Stephen, Lorna, Valerie and Derek, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was predeceased by a sister, Fiona, and a brother, Noel.