Stephen Doerr 1946-2021
Reprinted from the Parish Magazine of St Peter's, Ardingly.
The Memorial Service held on Friday 7th January 2022 was the most fitting tribute to the life of Steve, who died suddenly at his home on 9th December 2021, while working on one of his beloved long-case clocks.
A packed St. Peter’s Church, with standing room only for some and seating in the choir stalls for others, rang out to hearty singing of ‘How Great Thou Art’, ‘In Christ Alone’ and ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ interspersed with reminiscences from friends giving just a glimpse of the many facets of Steve’s life.
Living in Ardingly since 1977, Steve was a mainstay of Ardingly village life, our church and school, juggling his busy working life as a teacher with many other projects including the seemingly never-ending work on Steve and Glynis’ home at Avins Bridge Cottage.
Among the congregation gathered at his Memorial were previous Rectors of St. Peter’s, David Perryman, Rod Symmons and Simon Allaby, and representatives of Worth School, the Horological Society and others all paying respect to a man who had touched so many lives. Thanks to the availability of ‘Zoom’ the service was watched by many others who could not attend in person, including Cherno Yanneh, General Administrator of the Old Jeshwang Health Centre in The Gambia. An ongoing project close to his heart, Steve had taken over the Chair of the Ardingly Old Jeshwang Society since the passing of Dr. John Dale. The current restrictions on travel prevented Cherno from attending in person – instead he had sent a wonderful Letter of Condolence, which I was honoured to read out at the service and is printed elsewhere in this issue. (See below)
Aside from the Memorial Service itself, the village had turned out in force to provide lunch at the Centre for those who had attended the private burial that morning, floral decorations in the church and at the Centre and abundant refreshments for those who attended the Memorial.
LETTER OF CONDOLENCE
We have been saddened by the untimely demise of Mr. Stephen Doerr, former chairman of the Ardingly association in the UK.
The Old Jeshwang Community and entire staff of AOJHC would like to express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and members of the Ardingly association.
Mr. Doerr’s has left an indelible mark on the Old Jeshwang Community for his selfless service in promoting community health and sustainable development. His innovative, influential and inspiring leadership has been the beacon for the current leadership of AOJHC and we are grateful to have benefited significantly from his magnanimity. Among the services that he was particularly passionate about is safe delivery and affordable healthcare for mothers and children.
His concern about staff welfare led to several interventions that are still being felt in staff satisfaction and motivation. Under his leadership, significant amount of funds were raised by the committee which went into renovation and maintenance works of the facility. We are indeed grateful for his efforts and passion. We will always keep Mr. Doerr in our hearts.
During this difficult time, our hearts are with his family and pray that God gives them the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss. The ones we love are never gone; they live within our hearts.
May his memory be a blessing for all who knew him. Amen.