Obituary: Dr Angela Stubbs MA PhD

Although born in Pakistan, Angela already had strong Celtic connections her father was born in Ireland, her mother in Scotland, and her grandparents had moved to Cornwall in the 1930’s. There, an uncle went to the Camborne School of Mines, another lived in St Ives with his artist wife, and her aunt worked as a water diviner near Devoran.

Angela’s mother, then a war widow, returned from India to Cornwall, where she worked for a while on a flower farm at Mawnan Smith. Angela went to school at the convent in Falmouth, and later attended Mayfield School in East Sussex. Before embarking on her university life, Angela met Michael at a cricket club dance at County Wexford, and they were to later marry. They both studied at Trinity College, Dublin, where Angela got her first degree in 1962. In addition to a busy life raising a family of three children, Angela also had a career in teaching English at St Marys, Ascot, and continued this while also studying for her doctorate of Medieval History and Civilisation at the University of Reading. Latterly, Angela and her husband Michael eventually retired and moved to Cornwall in about 2001.

Angela became a member of Cornwall Gardens Trust in 2005, and soon joined the group of recorders becoming involved in researching historic gardens. She also stepped in to the breach when we needed someone to take over the task of seeking out new gardens to visit. She used her tremendous network of friends and distant relatives who lived in the county, to arrange a varied and very well received programme of garden visits for the members of the trust. She enjoyed this work greatly, and which she continued with for a number of years up to and including the visits for 2013.

When the trust was looking for a volunteer to be the new Chair and to take over from Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, Angela again stepped up to the mark, and agreed to take on that additional role in May 2008. She continued to serve in that capacity, despite a recurrence of ill health, until she found that the treatment became too debilitating. Angela decided to stand down from that role in November 2012 in order to devote her energies to recovering full health. Sadly, despite valiant efforts to fight the disease, Angela died peacefully at home on 20th February 2013.

Angela was unfailingly patient and gracious, and many people her family, friends, pupils at the local Catholic school where she helped with reading skills, members of her Italian conversation classes, and members of Cornwall Gardens Trust, will be the poorer for her passing.