Miss Pattie (‘Pat’) Ward, formerly of Tollgate, Spalding, has died in a Cheshire nursing home at the age of 97.
Pat, former joint managing director of East Midlands Finance Co Ltd, spent most of her working life at the company, except for a period during the war. She started as a clerk in about 1935 and rose to become managing director after her brother, Bob, retired from the role in the early 1970s. It was not a family business and at the time it was most unusual for a woman to hold such a position. At the beginning of WW2 Pat joined the Spalding ARP and was on duty when Spalding was bombed in 1941. She was later sent by the Government to do essential work as a quality controller in the Mosquito aircraft factory in Coventry. She was a life-long stalwart member of the congregation at St Norbert’s Church in Spalding, where she organised the Christian Giving scheme and used her artistic talents to the full for the church and attended Mass every week unti she was nearly 90. Pat enjoyed knitting and made more than 300 blankets from knitted woollen squares for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. She was also a keen gardener and, with her brother and father, grew flowers for Covent Garden Market, getting up at dawn to pack the blooms and send them to London by train from Spalding station. She had a natural talent for shooting and won trophies and medals when she was young – and was the only female member of the local club’s team. She was a generous person with a strong personality and great sense of humour who dedicated her life to looking after other people. She leaves a niece, two great-nephews, one great-great-nephew and two great-great-nieces.