Sunday, 7 April 2013

Kathleen Edith Keenan nee Ivall (1916-99)

Kathleen was born on 17th April 1916 at 8 Mapledene Road, Dalston in North London, the elder daughter of Albert David Ivall (1889-1960) and his wife Florence Edith Ivall nee Armitage (1887-1945). My mother was Kathleen’s cousin twice over - my mother’s parents, George William Ivall (1880-1934) and Emma Ivall nee Armitage (1883-1970) were both siblings of Kathleen’s parents.

Albert and Florence had a second daughter, Marjorie Joan Ivall, in 1921. Kathleen attended Queen’s Road School and then Dalston County Secondary School where she obtained Matriculation. After she left school, Kathleen worked for an insurance company near London Bridge. In 1937, she moved with her parents to 75 Osidge Lane, Southgate, North London.
Albert, Kathleen, Marjorie and Florence Ivall on holiday in 1933

Kathleen met Charles Bernard Keenan in the mid 1930’s and they married on 17 September 1938 at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, New Southgate. He was aged 27, a director of a building firm, she was 22. 
Kathleen’s marriage in 1938. From left : Peter Keenan (father of Charles), Grace Ivall (my mother), Hilda Keenan (sister of Charles), Marjorie Ivall, Charles Keenan, Kathleen, Peter Keenan (brother of Charles), Florence Ivall, Stella Keenan (sister of Charles) and Albert Ivall.

The 1939 Register shows them living at 7 Bexley Lane in Sidcup. Charles's occupation is given as "Housing manager and buyer, public works contractor."  They later had two sons and a daughter. The house at 7 Bexley Lane was severely damaged by a doodlebug in 1944 during the Second World War and so Kathleen and her family had to move out. They lived in Derby, Bexleyheath then 240 Bexley Lane and moved back into 7 Bexley Lane (by then rebuilt) in 1950. One of Kathleen’s son’s describes her as a loving wife and mother, also as neat, tidy and organised.

Sadly, Charles died in 1968, aged 57. Kathleen moved into a smaller house in nearby Charles Close and became a Registrar of Births and Marriages based in Sidcup, by then part of the London Borough of Bexley. However, she found it hard to cope with life without her husband. Kathleen’s family did their best to help. My parents often invited her to our house and maintained her garden. I have memories of a holiday on the Isle of Wight with Kathleen, my parents and myself in about 1970. I remember her as a kind, pleasant lady, easy to talk to, always smartly dressed.
 From left : Grace (my mother), Kathleen, Eric (my father) and Marjorie in my parents garden on Kathleen’s 72nd birthday (in 1988).

In 1988 Kathleen moved to a warden controlled flat in The Cloisters, King’s Langley, Hertfordshire, which was close to where her daughter lived. In 1996 Kathleen had the first of a succession of falls, breaking bones. She then went into various care homes until the end of 1998 when she suffered early signs of heart failure and was taken into hospital where she died on 7th January 1999 aged 82. Her funeral was held at St Lawrence’s Roman Catholic Church, Sidcup and she was buried in Chislehurst Cemetery, in the same grave as her husband.
The grave of Charles and Kathleen Keenan.


Jean C Noble said...

I was interested to read about Kathleen Ivall because I have been gathering details about the school she attended - Dalston County Secondary School for Girls. I have entered her name into a database I have started fro girls who attended the school and have shown her period with the school as 1932 to 1937 - just a guess. No other details entered. The school was in Colvestone Crescent at the time. The building (still a school) is still in existence. A new achool was built in Shacklewell Lane but that has been demolished and an academy built on the site.

Phil Taylor said...

Thanks for your comment, Jean. I hope you find more info for your database. Phil.