A meeting over a plate of sandwiches led to a love story which lasted for more than 57 years and left an incredible legacy.
Eric Clare met his beloved wife Evelyn in a café in Wrexham after picking up the last plate of egg sandwiches. And the rest is history – they shared the plate and fell in love.
The devoted couple married on Remembrance Day 1964.
But in 2021, Evelyn was diagnosed with incurable stomach cancer.
Ten years before, the couple had attended an open day at the Severn Hospice, and it was here that they learned about leaving a gift in their wills for charity.
On their visit, they saw the legacy tree and learnt about the impact of gifts in wills on the care we deliver.
They were still to make their wills and on the journey home, Evelyn said she thought they should leave gifts to Severn Hospice, and that they may have to use the hospice services themselves.
Sadly, this came true following Evelyn’s cancer diagnosis.
When a bed became available at Bicton she was admitted.
She was very weak but Eric sat with her every day and some nights while she was a patient on Perry ward. He stayed by her side, reminiscing about the many holidays they had enjoyed such as cruising down the Rhine and their trips to Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.
On the tenth day after her admission, the staff told Eric to go home for a good night’s sleep but as soon as he pulled on the driveway at home, he knew he should go back, and so he was able to be with Evelyn when she passed away.
The couple had married 18 months after their chance meeting in the cafe and in 1974 their daughter Bethan was born.
Eric’s job in banking took them around the country and Evelyn, who had been a nurse when they met, went on to work with children in nurseries.
Following Eric’s retirement, they moved to Shropshire and from then on, they spent nearly every day together; they were rarely apart.
Many years were spent looking after their two young grandchildren Megan and Rhys, who they adored, and Eric is still very close to them.
We recently held a special ceremony where the loved ones of our legators could hang their personalized leaves on the legacy tree – Eric attended with Megan. Evelyn is hugely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
Eric keeps himself busy – he sings in a choir, plays bowls and has even taken up Pilates and is also a member of our bereavement walking group which meets in Refresh on the second Monday of the month. Eric says it has been a huge support for him.
We are incredibly grateful to Evelyn for choosing to remember Severn Hospice in her will and to Eric for sharing their incredible love story with us.