Obituary: Jean Ashworth

Date published: 24 April 2024

It is with great sadness that the family announce the passing of Jean Ashworth, nee Smith, on Friday 12th April, peacefully at her home aged 74 after a short illness.

Loving mother of Allan, Wayne and Steven, dearly loved grandma of Ben, Ryan, Ellice, Morgan, Kena, and Theo, sister to Jim, Peter, Sue and Mark, mother in law to Jason and Simone and widow of the late Allan. She will be forever missed by family and her many friends.

Jean was born in 1949 and lived her whole life in Rochdale.

After marrying Allan in 1966, she started work at Birch Hill Hospital and worked nights as an Auxiliary nurse for 10 years whilst her children were growing up.

She then moved to days before gaining her level 3 in nursing and moved to the Rochdale Infirmary on the closure of Birch Hill in 2001. It was before the move that she started campaigning as she knew then that major changes were happening regarding hospital services and was concerned that worrying times were ahead for the NHS. Jean retired in 2009 after 32 years service in the NHS.


Jean on her wedding day in 1966
Jean on her wedding day in 1966


Jean served as a councillor from 2004 until 2012, as she cared deeply about the area and community she lived in and believed and demonstrated that she could make a difference to local issues. She was an active campaigner to ‘Save Our Hospital’ services and led many campaigns, organised public meetings and in 2010 delivered a petition to Downing Street, signed by 33,000 residents, opposing the removal of services at the local hospital.


Jean took her petition to Downing Street
Jean took her petition to Downing Street


Jean’s funeral will take place at 3.20pm on Wednesday 8th May at Rochdale Crematorium. Everyone is welcome after the funeral at The Ratcliffe, Rochdale Football Club, Sandy Lane, Rochdale, OL11 5DR

Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to Springhill Hospice.

For any enquiries please contact Kilpatricks Funeralcare, 634 Halifax Road, Littleborough, OL16 2SQ, 01706 374461.

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