Tribute to Emma Hexter

24-4—2008: THE former matron of Budleigh Salterton hospital has died, aged 94. Emma Elizabeth Hexter (nee Ellett) was born on April 29, 1913, in Exmouth, and as a child lived at Liverton Farm with her two brothers, George and Ernest, and attended Exmouth Grammar School

24-4-2008: THE former matron of Budleigh Salterton hospital has died, aged 94.

Emma Elizabeth Hexter (nee Ellett) was born on April 29, 1913, in Exmouth, and as a child lived at Liverton Farm with her two brothers, George and Ernest, and attended Exmouth Grammar School.

After completing her schooling, Mrs Hexter went on to work as a secretary at Exeter University, before training to become a nurse at Middlesex Hospital, where she stayed until 1939.

After training, she was head nurse of the private patients' ward, men's radium ward, special investigation wards and was acting theatres' staff nurse.


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She also did a course at the hospital for tropical diseases.

In 1940, Mrs Hexter went on to Bristol Maternity Hospital and completed its midwifery course.

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She married John Edward, known to everyone as 'Tim', in October 1941.

They had two children - Tony, who in 1963 emigrated to New Zealand, where he became a successful farmer, and Jane, who followed in her mother's footsteps and became a nurse, training at both the Middlesex and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

In the early 1950s, Mrs Hexter returned to work part time at Budleigh Salterton Cottage Hospital. There she progressed to being a full time sister before being promoted to matron - a job she dedicated herself to until her retirement in 1976, aged 63.

During her time at Budleigh's hospital, Mrs Hexter oversaw many changes, at the same time working closely with the local GPs, who thought highly of her.

The couple lived in Exmouth throughout their married life and went on to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 2001.

Mr Hexter died the following year and Mrs Hexter went to live in London with her daughter, Jane, and her husband.

She lived with them for four-and-a-half-years until her declining health forced her to move into a residential home, where she was cared for until she died on March 23.

Mrs Hexter is survived by her son and daughter, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, with another one on the way.

Son-in-law Derek Hartley said: "Emma was always interested in birds and flowers. She was a keen gardener right up until her husband's death. She also loved the sea, although she never actually learned to swim.

"Other interests were crosswords, flower arranging, poetry and knitting. Her favourite television programmes were Countdown, Songs of Praise and The Antiques Roadshow.

"Emma also supported several charities. She had enjoyed good health right up until the last eighteen months of her life.

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