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downsmail.co.uk Dorothy Simpson


LENHAM’S Dorothy Simpson (87) was an award-winning crime writer who made her home and set her best-known novels in Kent.


Born Dorothy


Preece, in Blaenavon, Wales, she moved to Kent to teach modern languages in Erith and Dartford, before working as a


marriage guidance counsellor


Her rst novel, Harbingers of Fear, was published in 1977. She found success with the arrival of Inspector Luke Thanet and his colleague Sergeant Michael Lineham in The Night She Died (1981). The Inspector Thanet series ran to 15 titles including Last Seen Alive (1985), winner of a Silver Dagger award from her fellow crime writers. The last Inspector Thanet novel, Dead and Gone, appeared in 1999. Dorothy and her barrister husband Keith, who became a crown court judge in Maidstone, settled in Langley before moving to Leeds in 1971 then to Lenham in the early years of this century. They raised Mark, Ian and Emma. Ian said: “We described my mother as a ‘legendary grandmother’ because her grandchildren loved the way she kept up to date with the latest technology and used it to stay in touch with them. She was also a very understanding grandmother. “Our parents had the time and opportunity to travel once they had brought the family up and they loved experiencing other places and other cultures. After our father died in 2008, our mother took a six-month world cruise. “She had a strong Christian faith and


was delivering marriage preparation courses for Lenham Church into her 80s.” Dorothy leaves her children and six grandchildren.


Greg Munton


CHARLES Gregory Francis “Greg” Munton (87) lived in Hunton for 52 years. He was a consultant ophthalmic surgeon


who had practiced at Maidstone Ophthalmic Hospital, the Somereld Hospital and St Bart’s Hospital in the Medway Towns.


Born and raised in Birmingham, Greg’s engineering studies at the University of Nottingham were interrupted when he contracted tuberculosis at the age of 20. He then went on to study medicine in Birmingham and took hospital posts in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, before moving to Maidstone. Greg’s funeral was held on the 60th


anniversary of his marriage to June. The couple raised children Dominic, Timothy, Rachel and Christopher. Rachel said: “My father was a person with a wide range of interests and ideas who had the capacity to study the things he was enthusiastic about and follow them at a high level.


“He had a workshop with a lathe and


welding equipment, and had designed and made hospital equipment. He was an amateur radio enthusiast for many years, building and installing an antenna. “He built his own observatory in our garden and was also a classical music acionado who regularly attended performances by the Maidstone Philharmonic Orchestra. “A lot of people will remember his lengthy involvement with the Kent Association for the Blind, which included a period as their chairman. “He loved France and spoke the language so uently that he had delivered medical conference papers in French.” Greg leaves his wife, children and grandchildren Jacob, Francesca and Abigail.


Ben Dance


TRIBUTES have been paid to Ben Dance (39), who died at home in Kings Hill. Friends and cricket colleagues spoke out after his death, urging those with problems to seek help and talk about their feelings. A 40-over cricket match in Ben’s memory took place on August 29, preceded by a fun run and a talk from the mental health charity Mind. All proceeds


from the event will go to Mind. Ben’s skills as a fast bowler made him an automatic selection at the Mote for a number of years.


Originally from Sissinghurst, he had worked locally in recruitment and was married with a three-year-old daughter.


Pat Manners


PATRICIA “Pat” Manners lived on Upper Road on the Foster Clark Estate in Maidstone for about 60 years. Born Patricia


Gwaspari in


Greenwich, she and her husband Alan moved to the local area to live near her sister. The sisters remained neighbours and close condantes for life.


Alan worked for British Rail


progressing from working as a porter to being based in the organisation’s offices at London Bridge. Pat, who had worked at a dog track before moving locally, worked as a barmaid at the Royal Star Hotel before becoming a community carer for Kent County Council for around 30 years. Pat was mother to Stephen, Peter and


Daryl. Her daughter-in-law Kate said: “Pat really enjoyed her life. She was a happy- go-lucky character who took a lot of pleasure in her family, particularly her children and grandchildren. “She loved cats, owning several over the


years, and had a life-long passion for the music and lms of Mario Lanza. She really enjoyed going out and would take real delight in visits to places like the zoo or the seaside. “She was a lovely person, although one thing people knew and loved about her was her ability to swear quite a bit when things went wrong. Some of the tributes paid to her remember her as ‘sweary nanny’. She will be missed by so many people. “ Pat, who was widowed in 2005, leaves her son, Stephen – her two younger sons pre-deceased her. She also leaves grandchildren Sarah, Becky, James and Rachael and great- grandchildren Shannon, Callum, Ollie, JJ, Rosie May and Lenny.


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