A busy farmer’s wife and keen golfer, who also found time to support the local community, has died aged 77.
Nancy Christina Todhunter died suddenly, but peacefully, in the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, on 1st October, having lived life for her family and friends, working hard on the family farm, supporting her local community, and enjoying golf after she retired.
She was born at Barkbeth, Bassenthwaite, near Keswick, and moved, at a young age, with her family to Kirkhouse Farm at Isel, Cockermouth.
She was a pupil at the village school before attending Cockermouth Grammar School, and during that time she was a member of the St Michael’s Church choir in Isel, as her father was the church warden and bell ringer there.
After leaving school Nancy worked at the County Fruit Stores in Cockermouth before marrying Richard Todhunter at Isel Church in 1975 and moving to Jenkin Hill Farm, at Thornthwaite, near Keswick.
The couple ran a dairy herd from the farm and, as well as milking and looking after the cows, she and Richard had a milk delivery service for residents and businesses in the Thornthwaite and Braithwaite area.
They had two children, John and Tina, who both live in the Keswick area.
Thursday was always baking day for Nancy and it was strange how many agricultural contractors who visited the farm always did so on that day as they loved to sample her home-baked treats.
Tina said: “We always hurried home on a Thursday to make sure there was still some baking left for us.”
It was during this time that Nancy’s love for helping and supporting the community first began.
Talented, and full of energy and ideas, she took a class at Braithwaite institute, which was the starting block for her love of flower arranging.
Her skills went from strength to strength and she was often called upon to decorate the village church for a wedding or give demonstrations to local groups and organisations, including at the Millfield care home in Keswick.
Nancy joined Keswick Flower Club in 1985 and held the position of chairwoman for a time.
She was also involved with the Border Flower Group, which attracted members from Cumbria up into the south of Scotland.
She was a long-time member of Thornthwaite-cum-Braithwaite Women’s Institute, holding various positions on the committee and eventually becoming president.
She also joined the Cumbria WI Federation and was vice-chairman of the home economics committee.
A keen member of Keswick agricultural show committee, which was a very special part of her life, the annual August bank holiday show day was a real family occasion for Nancy and she encouraged her children and then grandchildren to enter exhibits in various categories.
On a number of occasions she won the trophy for most points in show for her baking and floral arrangements.
She sat on the show’s ladies’ committee and spent a number of years as chairwoman, never missing a meeting. Her hard work was honoured when she became show president in 2011.
Golf became a huge part of Nancy’s life when she and Richard retired from the farm.
She was a member of Keswick Golf Club and was lady captain in 2009 and 2014.
She was enthusiastic about getting junior members involved in the sport, often taking her grandson, Aaron, along when she played at the Threlkeld Hall course.
The club’s current lady captain, Alison Lightford, said: “Nancy was a competitive golfer and also a true stalwart of the club, acting as social secretary for many years and heavily involved in fundraising.
“She was one of the people you could always rely on to help out and will be greatly missed by all at the club.”
Nancy is survived by her husband Richard, children John and Tina, daughter-in-law Gill, son-in-law Jim and grandchildren Abby and Aaron.
Tina said: “John and I have very fond childhood memories of mum and our life then. She always gave 110 per cent to whatever she did.”
John added: “She was a very talented and proud wife, mum and nana who always had a smile on her face. She lived for her family and friends.”