Daventry businesswoman and dog lover passes away

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A woman who ran a clothing boutique, pet shop, and then a nursing home in Daventry, has passed away.

Jean King, of Cotswold Close, passed away on May 11 aged 82.

Jean was born Jean Middleton in 1933 in Brentwood, Essex the youngest of five siblings. When Jean was three the Middleton family moved to Rugby and she went to Rugby High School for Girls. Much to her father’s annoyance she got a job as a kennel maid at the local veterinary practice.

All her life, her love of dogs was the foremost thing to Jean. She got her first dog – an alsation puppy called Storm – from a school friend. At the same time Jean met her late husband, Raymond, who lived in Priors Marston and worked in Daventry for the BBC Overseas Broadcasting Unit.

Jean and Ray bought a cottage in Woodford Halse and after they were married in 1952 Jacqui, their first daughter was born in 1953 and Paul followed in 1956. Jean and Ray bought a house in Daventry and Jane was born 10 years after Paul in 1966.

Jean got various jobs, the first being at Willoughby’s Shoe Shop in the High Street. After that she started doing dress parties, mostly with dresses she had made herself and also selling factory rejects. Eventually Jean got a job as an insurance agent collected premiums mostly on Southbrook and surrounding villages.

In the late 1960s Jean and Ray bought a shop at 5 Brook Street in Daventry and set up ladies’ clothing boutique Christine King, which Jean ran with a small army of staff for approximately 13 years.

Ray became ill in 1984 and sadly passed away in 1987 having been looked after by Jean for three years. Following Ray’s death, Jean designed and built her own home in Drayton Park. Jean also worked at the pet shop which was run from 5 Brook Street. The unit later became a funeral parlour. It is now Patel & Co Solicitors.

In 1989 Jean and Paul purchased the property which is now known as Brownlands Nursing Home in London Road. The business opened on May 1, 1990. Jean and Paul ran the nursing home for 12 years.

After five years at Drayton Park Jean moved into Cotswold Close.

Dogs were always a big part of Jean’s life and the entire family have fond memories of the huge great dane Bas, the poodles, the welsh sheep dogs, Glas and Blue, and then more recently Pepper, Blue and Harvey. Even in her 70s Jean was very active touring the country with flyball and dog agility teams.

Before her death Jean asked to thank all the friends she made through flyball and agility training and for the fond memories. Jean also asked for her heartfelt thanks to be passed to the staff at Danetre Hospital. Jackie, Paul and Jane are immensely grateful to them for looking after mum in her last weeks and the care and compassion they showed.

Jean was the proud grandmother of five granddaughters and one great granddaughter.

Jean’s funeral is at Rainsbrook Crematorium at 4pm on Thursday May 28; friends are welcome. Those attending are asked not to wear black, no flowers but donations to Cancer Research c/o Heart of England Co-Operative Funeral Services, High Street, Daventry.