Dedicated couple died within days
PUBLISHED: 12:10 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010
A DEVOTED couple who were married for more than 57 years have died within a fortnight of each other. William Derek Beadle, aged 81, and his wife Bridget, 83, had been forced to live apart for the last four months of their lives due to illness. The coupl
A DEVOTED couple who were married for more than 57 years have died within a fortnight of each other.
William "Derek" Beadle, aged 81, and his wife Bridget, 83, had been forced to live apart for the last four months of their lives due to illness.
The couple, whose joint funeral was held at St Bartholomew's RC Church in St Albans on Friday, met and married and brought up their three sons Kevin, Mike and Tony in St Albans.
Their eldest son Kevin, aged 55, said: "When Dad had to go into hospital in November, Mum moved into a good care home in Barnet where she was looked after very well but she never came to terms with the separation from Dad and the loss of her independence.
"They were two wonderful and devoted people who did so much to enrich other people's lives and expected so little for themselves. Each of them would have been desperately unhappy to have lived without the other and we have the comfort of knowing that will never have to happen now."
William, who went to Beaumont School in St Albans, worked as a painter and decorator with his father before joining the Army during wartime.
It was when he was demobbed that he met Bridie O'Donnell, who had recently arrived in England and worked at St Olive's nursing home with his sister Jean.
The couple got engaged in 1949 and married at SS Alban and St Stephen Church in 1950.
They lived in a bungalow at Westfields until they took over a newsagent's shop and post office in Beech Road with accommodation above.
They later moved to a house in the Cottonmill area where they brought up their family.
Bridie resumed nursing, working nights at Napsbury Hospital while her husband eventually managed the stores in the engineering department at Shenley Hospital.
When they retired they belonged to a gardening club where they won prizes for their vegetables.
William died in St Albans City Hospital on March 13 and Bridget died on March 26.
They are survived by their three sons and four grandchildren.