Former lifeboat coxswain thanks well-wishers after sudden death of his wife

PUBLISHED: 14:04 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 25 September 2018

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Dick Thurlow

A former lifeboat coxswain says he has been overwhelmed by flowers, cards and messages following the death of his wife.

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick ThurlowAnnette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow died suddenly at home in Caister after Parkinson’s forced her to step back from her 40-year-career in nursing.

Her husband Dick Thurlow said a cause of death was not yet known.

Mr Thurlow, Caister lifeboat coxswain for almost 14 years, said paramedics, including an air ambulance crew, battled to save his wife’s life after she collapsed at home and died at least three times on the floor as they carried out CPR.

When she was stable she was transferred to the intensive care ward at Gorleston’s James Paget University Hospital, but never regained consciousness.

She was 58.

Paying tribute to his wife Mr Thurlow, 64, said she was “a grafter” who never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Her stalwart service to the community included some 20 years with the cubs and decades as a nurse, trained in a day when holding a hand and sharing a cuppa were part of the job.

And her commitment to the independent lifeboat service, always working at her husband’s side, earned her the chance to lead a royal visit with Princess Alexandra.

Mr Thurlow said: “She could not have done more for the community.”

She was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the daughter of a village bobby whose beat bought him to Hemsby and later Great Yarmouth.

The couple met while working at a cafe in Hemsby in 1977 and married in the parish church in 1981.

They went on to have three children Richard, Aaron and Heidi, the two boys following their father to the workplace waves both now serving as Caister lifeboat crew.

While raising their family she always had time for the children despite working hard, often doing back-to-back night shifts.

He said the number of condolence messages he had received was “unbelievable” adding: “People have been great.”

Having spent her life nursing others she was never one to focus on, or complain about, her own health.

She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago.

The disease took the wind out of her sails but her death was unexpected and a shock for the family, close friends, and neighbours, Mr Thurlow said.

Her funeral service on Friday October 12 at 11am will feature a guard of honour and a choir from St Mary’s Church, Hemsby, where they married.

People are invited to wear bright clothes and join in a spirit of celebration for her life.

Donations can be made via Jary’s to the air ambulance and the intensive care unit at the JPUH.

There will be a party with live music from 1.30pm at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth.

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