Musslewhite, Marian Elizabeth

She was born on 18 May 1928 at Southampton, where her mother was the Sunday School Superintendent and her father its secretary at the Liverpool Street PM chapel in Bevois Town. This and her mother's role as Local Preacher influenced her from an early age.

In 1939, soon after she joined the Southampton Grammar School fo Girls, the school was evacuated to Bournemouth and during an air raid she was one of only two rescued from the house in which she was living, saying later that perhaps God had saved her for a purpose. Her excellent school results got her a place at Homerton College, Cambridge to train as a teacher. With very few posts available in Southampton, she obtained one in Bilston in the West Midlands, starting on a path that would bring a lasting legacy of love in the hearts and minds of the people there.

She joined Bilston Wesley Church and was soon involved with young people in the Sunday School. By 1953 she had qualified as aLocal Preacher. She formed one of the first Youth Missionary Association groups in the country, with more than 30 young people meeting after Sunday evening service in a room in the manse. A great encourager, she helped many of them to hear the call to become ministers, local preachers or church leaders.

In 1964 she was appointed a Lay Secretary in the Youth Department at Chester House, London and for ten years was organising youth events up and down the country. 1974 saw her returning to Bilston to become head of religious studies at a local school. She lost no time in getting involved in the youth work of Bilston Church and Circuit, as ever looking beyond bricks and mortar to outreach activity including the Holiday Clubs she ran with the help of the young people of the church to draw in local children and young people. 1994 saw her take this outreach a next step, with a drop-in centre named 'Oasis' at the church, developing into serving cooked meals with a time of worship each Friday.

Sadly, during her closing years she suffered from Dementia and ended her days in Waterford Home, an MHA home in Wolverhampton for people with dementia. She died on 31 December 2012.