A TEACHER and member of a well-known Witney family has died aged 87.

Maureen Rotheram was a secretary-turned-teacher who later married Fred Delnevo, of electronics shop V. Delnevo, in Corn Street.

As a teacher she worked in Birmingham, Oxford and Witney and she was also a keen sportswoman, playing badminton, golf, tennis and hockey.

Her daughter, Sue Delnevo, said: “A woman of unbridled strength and energy she always tackled challenges head on and had a strong work ethic, carving out a career for herself.”

Maureen was born in Hindley, Lancashire, on March 17, 1927 to parents Bertha and William. Her mother was a midwife in Witney and her father was a window cleaner and volunteer firefighter. Mrs Delnevo’s mother had birthed some 2,000 babies in Witney, her family said, and she used to get great pleasure from meeting the many people she had helped bring into the world. She had one sibling, Lilian, now aged 86.

Mrs Delnevo attended St Mary’s CoE Infant School and then Witney Grammar School, now known as Henry Box School. After leaving she took a job as a secretary with Witney blanket firm Smith and Philips Ltd, and then later at Woodford Mill. She also worked at Fred Holbrow Travel agents, in Ship Street, Oxford.

During the Second World War she was employed as a typist for the Ministry of Agriculture, based at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. She would recall later that she enjoyed working with a woman in the ministry whose main job was inspecting cows.

After the war she trained as a teacher in Huddersfield. She taught secretarial skills, English and PE, taking a post in a school in Spark Hill, Birmingham in the 1950s. Mrs Delnevo later went on to teach at Oxford College of Further Education, and then West Oxfordshire Technical College, where she remained until she retired in 1988.

Before they married, she had known her future husband, Fred Delnevo, for some time through his sister and her friend Joan.

They wed in St Hugh’s Catholic Church, in Witney, on October 27, 1959 and had their first child, Sue, in 1961, then Lisa in 1963 and Matthew in 1966.

After marrying, Mrs Delnevo carried on teaching as well as supporting her husband in running his brother Victor’s business, V. Delnevo, which was closed in 2010.

Maureen Delnevo died on August 24. She is survived by her three children and grandsons Ben and Max.

A funeral will be held tomorrow in Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ducklington from 1.30pm.

All who knew her are welcome. The burial will take place at Tower Hill Cemetery afterwards.

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