Cherry Dowrick (née Burbury): 1927 to 2021

Cherry was born in Riga, Latvia on 6 June 1927. She was of Danish, English and Italian heritage. Her father was in diplomatic service. Her mother was an accomplished horsewoman and international showjumper. Karin was her younger sister. Her childhood was spent in Finland. In the late 1930s, as political tensions rose across Europe, her family moved to England. She attended boarding school in Exeter. In 1944 she went up to St Hugh’s College Oxford, where she studied Modern Languages, gained a Hockey Blue and met her future husband Frank.

Cherry and Frank married in Helsingfors (Helsinki) Finland on 22 July 1948. They spent two years in Belfast, where she taught French at secondary school. They lived in Dublin from 1950 to 1964, as Frank developed his career as an academic lawyer in Trinity College. Cherry gave birth to three sons: Christopher (b.1951), Stephen (b.1953) and Nicholas (b.1954), and for the next decade dedicated herself to their care.

The family moved to Durham, England in 1964, following Frank’s appointment to the foundation chair of the new law school there. In the mid-1960s Cherry resumed her professional career, teaching French first at Bow School and then – for more than two decades – at Durham’s Chorister School.

Following Frank’s death in 1987, after 39 years of mutually devoted marriage, Cherry moved to Aughton in Lancashire, near to Nicholas, Christopher and their families. She made regular visits to Canberra, Australia to spend time with Stephen and his family.

Cherry was a gifted linguist, fluent in six European languages. She loved classical music, especially the chamber music of J.S Bach. She was a committed European and internationalist, and a longstanding member of the Liberal Democratic Party. She was a member of the Society of Friends for over thirty years, attending first Durham and then Southport Meetings, representing the latter at Britain Yearly Meeting.

After some years of increasing infirmity, Cherry died peacefully on 12 October 2021. She is survived by two sons, 10 grandchildren and 14 grandchildren.

One response to “Cherry Dowrick (née Burbury): 1927 to 2021”

  1. James Simmons says:

    Mme Dowrick taught me french at The Chorister School for five years between 1980 and 1985. I remember her vividly. Always warm and vivacious: her love of the language made a lasting mark on me which I have passed on to my children (DRAPERS VAN MMT13). She had an elegant style which seemed exotic in the rather gray North East of the 1980s.

    I’m happy she lived a long life- and what a life!

    My condolences to her family.

    James Simmons

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