Tributes paid to community stalwart

By Dave GooderhamA FOUNDER member of a Samaritans group has died just weeks before a history book she helped compile about the charity is published.Warm tributes have been paid to Patricia Carlisle, who was a founder member of West Suffolk Samaritans, a pioneer member of Bury St Edmunds Relate, an active member of MIND and supporter of the Bury Women's Refuge.

By Dave Gooderham

A FOUNDER member of a Samaritans group has died just weeks before a history book she helped compile about the charity is published.

Warm tributes have been paid to Patricia Carlisle, who was a founder member of West Suffolk Samaritans, a pioneer member of Bury St Edmunds Relate, an active member of MIND and supporter of the Bury Women's Refuge.

Her life included studying in German just prior to the Second World War and attending the 1936 Olympic Games, presided over by Hitler.


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Mrs Carlisle, from Langham, near Bury St Edmunds, also helped with the de-Nazification of educational books and assisted Blitz victims in the East End of London trace relatives.

Her death on Tuesday has provoked a wave of glowing praise from the many people whose lives she touched.

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A spokesman for West Suffolk Samaritans said: "Patricia will be missed so much and there is now an enormous void.

"She was an amazing person and she will be missed by the entire branch. She was very intelligent and sharp and would remember anything about anybody."

Mrs Carlisle was one of the Samaritans' longest-standing volunteers, serving until she was aged in her mid-80s.

Her neighbour, Dr Paul Laking, said: "She was a very wonderful, kind and thoughtful person who was a fantastic neighbour and we will miss her very much.

"It was phenomenal what she did, just incredible to get involved with so many different groups and charities."

Close friend, Susan Sollohub, added: "She sounds almost too good to be true, but everything she did was prompted by a deep caring. She did not just join committees, her help was truly practical."

Up to her death, the pensioner was also involved in her local churches, a local history group and had been a volunteer for the Citizen's Advice Bureau in Bury St Edmunds.

Mrs Carlisle, who gained a chemistry degree, also campaigned against the battery hen system and ran an organic smallholding in Hargrave long before the concept became popular.

Her contribution to the community was marked by an award by Mid Suffolk District Council.

A 90th birthday party planned for Mrs Carlisle by the Samaritans will still go ahead on June 28 and the spokesman said it would now be a celebration of her life.

The book, A Duty Beyond The Call, will also be launched on the same day in Bury St Edmunds.

Mrs Carlisle, who with her late husband, Ian, fostered several children, leaves an adopted son, John, and an adopted daughter, Elizabeth, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A private cremation is due to take place tomorrow and will be followed by a service of thanksgiving at a later date.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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