Family pay tribute to 90-year-old who died after Welwyn Garden City bank crash

PUBLISHED: 15:24 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 14 August 2018

Eileen Firminger died following the crash in Stonehills, Welwyn Garden City.

Eileen Firminger died following the crash in Stonehills, Welwyn Garden City.

Alan Davies

The family of a 90-year-old woman who died following a crash in Welwyn Garden City has paid tribute to a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Eileen Firminger died in hospital after crashing into a bank in Stonehills, last October 31, an inquest heard on July 6.

Eileen enjoyed the freedom her car gave her and her specialist doctor confirmed it was appropriate for her to continue driving in spite of her bulbar palsy, a neurological condition affecting the facial muscles and nerves.

The doctor informed both Eileen’s family and the DVLA that her condition had no impact on her limbs or cognitive abilities, and therefore in no way affected her driving capability.

Born in 1927 in Yorkshire, Elieen moved to Woolmer Green in 1949 with her husband of 72 years Ken.

The pair, who met in their teens, enjoyed dancing together and became engaged on Eileen’s 18th birthday, marrying six months later. They welcomed their daughter Geraldine in 1949, and in 1961 they moved to Glebe Road, in Welwyn, where they lived happily for 56 years.

She was first bookkeeper for Farmiloe and Sons civil engineers in Welwyn village and later worked for the Youth Foreign Holiday Service in Welwyn for 30 years.

Geraldine, who now lives in Canada, said: “They said mum was the best bookkeeper they had ever had.

“She kept all the financial accounts straight and accurate at home too.

“She was always checking up on the best interest rates and savings accounts. She never left a shop without first checking that the bill was correct.”

Eileen’s many interests included walking with the Mid Herts walking group, knitting, reading and gardening.

Geraldine said: “Mum was an amazing person who lived her life to the full – she never stood still.

“She had a vibrant energy and enthusiasm for all her activities.

“Her strong spirit and determination meant that nothing stopped her from doing what she wanted to do.

“She was very independent and went out daily, either shopping, attending church, going to exercise classes or going to see jazz concerts, dance events or a film at the cinema.

“Mum couldn’t stay in the house even when it had been snowing. She wanted to get out and talk to people and make the most of her life.”

Eileen was very proud of her three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Eileen would take them on day trips or immersed them in as many local activities as possible – whether it was horseback riding, swimming, feeding the horses, watching the bell ringing in the church or teaching them how to bake a Victoria sponge cake.

Geraldine said: “Mum’s zest for life meant that she never gave up.

“Dad once said that it was her strength and energy that kept him going.

“I feel very lucky to have had such caring, loving parents who lived a long and happy life together.

“I know that my Mum made the most of every single day and she will be greatly missed.”

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