Doreen Florence was a teenager working at a penny arcade in Hunstanton, England when she met a U.S. soldier named Curtis Durham. He fell in love with this beautiful English young lady. They married, needing her parents signature since, she was only 17 years old. After serving three years at Fakenham, they moved to the U.S. For a short while they lived in Hohenwald, Tennessee and then they moved to Nashville. For the last 53 years Dennywood Drive has been their address. Curtis and Doreen realized that it wasn’t the house, but what was in it, that made a home. They agreed that she would stay home with the children, even though she had worked since she was a young girl. This was a blessing to their four children, grandchildren, and so many other children in the neighborhood. Everyone loved her home. Her home was what it was because of her faith.
Doreen loved her Lord. While growing up she had become a part of the church of England. She and Curtis began studying as they were dating and first married. The first week in the U.S. she responded to the Lord’s invitation being baptized in Beaverdam Creek. In this cold creek she had her sins washed away and began a journey to walk with her Lord. Her life of conviction proved her conversion to be genuine. She loved to read the word of God and even in recent years began writing down scriptures. She has many, many pages of handwritten text of God’s Holy Word. Over several decades they have worshiped and served in congregations at Lebanon Road, Pennington Bend, and Mt. Juliet.
Doreen loved her family. Doreen created a comfortable home for their four children. John is the oldest and was born in England before they moved to the U.S. Interestingly, he was born in the same house and bed as Doreen. Although she raised her children in the U.S. she brought some of the English influence into her family. The yard was filled with English style flower gardens leaving only small patches of grass. Also, the family cultivated an appreciation for a cup of English tea. She also taught all of her children practical lessons such as, how to do laundry, iron, sew a button, cook, proper use of knife and fork, and other table manners. Her beautiful, British accent accompanied sentences stated in proper grammar. She also was a blessing to all three of her grandchildren. Their love for her is touching. She demanded they stay with her instead of daycare. And they loved it! Hanna, John and Jamie’s daughter, said when she was small she hated when John would get off work because she knew she would have to leave “Dean and Papa’s” house.
Curtis and Doreen enjoyed 56 years of marriage. She treated him like a king and he loved his queen. In recent months during her sickness he tenderly cared for her day and night.
Doreen will be missed greatly; but through faith and hope we do not grieve for her. Let’s pray for Curtis, John, Jamie, Hanna and the rest of her family.