A COMMUNITY stalwart of Old Marston has died aged 94.

Theresa Prickett lived in the area for almost 40 years, at her family’s home in Elsfield Road.

The great-grandmother-of-two was a former treasurer and secretary of the Marston Women’s Institute, part of the Marston Wives Group and an active member of St Nicholas Church in Old Marston.

Known as Terry, she also played for the Headington Ladies hockey team and had been a secretary at Rose Hill Infants School.

Her family lived in Old Marston for more than a century and her great-grandfather was Victor Biovois, the Frenchman and former landlord of the Victoria Arms who ran the Marston ferry.

Mrs Prickett was born on April 5, 1921, to parents William and Adele Brain.

Because of her father’s job as a village policeman, the family moved around Oxfordshire when she was growing up and she attended schools in Shipton-under-Wychwood, Eynsham, Henley and Witney.

During the Second World War a then-Miss Brain joined the fire service and was stationed at Maidenhead in an administrative role.

It was then she met Hector Prickett, a firefighter from Oxford, whose brigade was being called to other nearby counties to help respond to fire caused by the Nazi bombing campaign.

They married in July 1945 and moved back to Oxford together, first to live with Mr Prickett’s parents in Southmoor Road, before later moving to Charles Street in East Oxford.

While her husband went to work for Oxford University’s land agent’s office, Mrs Prickett raised their two children and later worked at Rose Hill Infants School from 1967 to 1977.

The couple’s first son, Richard, was born in 1946 and he was followed by Gerald in 1953. Richard died in 1984 from a heart attack.

After retiring in 1977, Mrs Prickett and her husband moved back to her parents’ home in Old Marston.

There, as well as being a policeman, her father also sang in the St Nicholas Church choir, rang the bells, served as a verger and was a member of the parochial council.

Mrs Prickett’s family first moved there in 1875, and from 1881 Victor Biovois was registered as the publican at the Victoria Arms pub, formerly the Ferry Inn.

As part of his duties he looked after the ferry, which – due to his French heritage – became known as Frenchman’s Ferry and allowed people to cross the River Cherwell.

Both the pub and ferry were later run by his son, Mrs Prickett’s grandfather, who was also called Victor, until about 1917.

Mrs Prickett was treasurer of the local Women’s Institute from 1976 to 1979, as well as secretary from 1981 to 1994.

She also played for Headington Ladies hockey team from her early twenties until 1962, but continued to support the club in various administrative roles.

Her husband passed away aged 94 in 2007.

Her son Gerald, 63, said: “Mum absolutely loved Marston, it was where her roots were.

“That’s why she decided to retire there and take such an active role in the community.”

Theresa Prickett died of old age on November 7. A funeral was held yesterday at St Nicholas Church in Old Marston.

She is survived by her son Gerald, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Oliver.