Tributes to “born organiser” who was at the heart of community for nearly half a century

A Stansted woman who was “instrumental” in community and charitable activities for nearly half a century has been fondly remembered by villagers.

Brenda Scarr, who was awarded an MBE in recognition of 27 years’ service with the British Red Cross in 1996, died last month at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow at the age of 83, soon after suffering a stroke.

Chairman of the parish council, Geoffrey Sell, paid tribute to Mrs Scarr, calling her “a born organiser who knew what she wanted and worked incredibly hard to get it”.

“Brenda was involved in many organisations the Day Centre, Uttlesford Community Travel, Helpline, the Red Cross and the Liberal Democrats,” Cllr Sell said.

“She played a huge part in the life of Stansted and played an important role in the day centre right from its inception to the present.”

“Stansted owes a debt of gratitude to Brenda Scarr for her selfless work on behalf of others. We will be the poorer without her.”

Mrs Scarr’s daughter, Josie, said her mother “loved helping people and was extremely well-known and well-liked in the community”.

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Another parish councillor and friend, Ruth Rawlinson, said: “Brenda had been living in the village since 1966 and came into contact with lots of people through different organisations, including her time spent as president of the Women’s Institute in Stansted.”

“She was instrumental in helping to set up the day centre in the village in the 1980’s and was still heavily involved up until the day she died.”

Mrs Scarr moved to Lower Street in Stansted in the mid-1960s after marrying her husband Robin in 1962. The couple had two daughters – Sarah, who died in a car accident in 1986, and Josie – and three grandchildren, James, Annabel and Patrick.

Her funeral was held at Parndon Wood Crematorium in Harlow on Monday (Feb 6), followed by a service at Stansted Free Church.