A picture of Stella
Stella Serck-Roche was a beautiful woman, even at 99 yrs old. I remember that I took her to buy a watch at a jewellers in Blachington Road Hove. It’s run by an old chap and is an Aladdin’s cave. Anyway Stella had a lovely time chatting to the jeweller and chose a watch. At the time she had her leg bandaged as she had a thin skin condition and as the wife of the jeweller also had the same condition and had a bandage of her leg she came round from the back of the shop to say hello to Stella. She took one look at her and said ”Ooh Isn’t she pretty” I told Stella but she said “Well I was beautiful when I was young but not now.” She was wrong she was still lovely at 99 yrs.old.
But there was more to Stella than just a pretty face. She had a great amount of charm and charisma. She spent Christmas Day with my family and myself and she charmed my two sons, my husband, my father and another male friend. She had a wonderful time, she sparkled and everybody adored her. It was like that wherever she went. She liked to always look nice, wore beautiful clothes and like to have her nails done at a salon. When we arrived the whole salon would go quiet and everyone would stop talking and watch Stella. People would mouth to me “How old is she?” “Isn’t she fantastic.” When I took her to the hairdressers, the hairdresser was just finishing her hair at 4 pm and said to the Junior “You can go home if you like” but she said “No I want to listen to Stella”.
I think Stella was a comedienne, from an early age. I know that she used to perform for the troops, mimicking certain singers and she was a very poplar act. I remember her telling me that when she was at her Swiss Finishing School, they had a system that if you had done something wrong you were given a red baton. You could pass this on to any other girl surreptitiously and who ever ended up with the baton received the punishment. Well, Stella didn’t like to pass on these batons and a friend said to her “If you carry on making those faces that you do at dinnertime, I’ll get rid of your batons for you.” So they made a deal and you can just imagine two 16 year olds giggling at Stella’s funny faces.
Stella was well read and loved to read biography’s of famous people although her eyesight was fading so it became increasingly difficult for her to read. But she always read the Daily Mail, from cover to cover, every day with the help of a magnifying glass, from cover to cover. If she couldn’t manage to read it all, she would save up the articles she wanted to read. She would drive me mad as there were newspapers strewn all over the flat which looked very untidy but then she would have a blitz and stay up till 5 a.m to read them all, so I could finally throw them all away. She loved to talk about anything that was currently in the news and although she was profoundly deaf we still managed to have lively discussions with me shouting in her ear.
Stella was unique and I feel privileged to have known her. I will miss her greatly, as I am sure you all will but perhaps we can all keep her alive in our memories of her. I think when Stella appears Heaven is going to be a much more amusing place.