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Catherine Rose Greengrass 1947–2014

Catherine Greengrass

The many passions of a lady with poetry in her soul…

One of Mensa’s longest-serving and most popular SIGSecs has died at the age of 66.

Catherine Greengrass had edited Poetry SIG’s newsletter since 1992 – making a lot of friends during that time. One of her SIG members, Adrian Brett, spoke for many when he said: “I was so distressed to hear the sad news. Though I never met her in the flesh, I have felt admiration for the enthusiasm and expertise with which she handled the Poetry Workshop Sig and an empathy that she evinced in her response to my own contributions over several years. She has always been supportive, encouraging and complimentary to me personally. I am sure other members will voice a like sentiment. The Sig will never be the same without her.”

Catherine Rose Oakley was born in Romford on June 3, 1947, the third child and only girl born to Alfred and Ellen, having two older brothers, Peter and Alan. She grew up in South Ockendon and enjoyed a good relationship with her older brothers who were largely responsible for some of her main interests in life including her love of the countryside and astronomy. Catherine left school at 15 and went to Technical College where she studied sciences and then went on to achieve her childhood ambition of becoming a laboratory technician. She had a long and successful career in the science world. In 1987 Catherine came across an advertisement for Mensa and qualified to become a member. Two years later, at one of their meetings, she was introduced to Roger Greengrass and they immediately hit it off. The following year they decided to make a life together and then in 1992, they moved to Norfolk and married four years later in 1996. It was to be a very happy marriage.

As well as her love of the countryside, Catherine also enjoyed painting and creating tapestries – and she made some powerful beer and wine! And of course she was a great lover of poetry. Catherine never enjoyed good health throughout her life, but she wouldn’t allow this to affect her sense of humour and fun. But the most important aspect of her life was her family – her beloved Roger, her daughter Ellen from a previous marriage to Philip and her two grandchildren, Jasmin and Belinda, of whom she was very proud. They stayed with Roger and Catherine many times as they were growing up and have always had their own bedroom in the family home in Attleborough.

Catherine will be very sadly missed by all who knew her.