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Former police volunteer, who helped keep New Malden front counter open, dies
A police volunteer who dedicated hours helping people during her front desk duties has died.
Former teacher Joan Monroe, 91, of Rodney Close in New Malden joined the Metropolitan Police volunteers in 2001 when New Malden police station faced closure.
She dedicated at least two shifts a week to the cause she fell in love with.
But last week the mother-of-one who had coronary heart disease died in her sleep at Kingston Hospital after she was unable to recover from a bout of shingles.
Her funeral was held at Kingston Cemetery on Friday and was attended by family, friends and colleagues.
Her son Bob Monroe who lives in Italy, said: “She was always willing to help people and loved her role with the police.
"She did evening classes in Greek history, she was learning Italian. She was very interested in history. She was probably New Malden library’s biggest customer, bombarding them with requests for books.
"She read the papers every day. She would ring every week and we would discuss current affairs on the phone. I will miss her. She has always been there."
He said she visited him every year in Tuscany at his olive farm for her birthday and enjoyed being driven around the scenery.
Mrs Monroe was born in Horwich near Manchester but moved to Bolton and then to Ewell and Ham before she settled in New Malden in the 1960s with her husband, who died in 1989.
She lived alone, drove around in her Fiat car and was also a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists which promotes safe driving.
Police volunteer Jacqueline Rayner who worked alongside Mrs Monroe, said: “I greatly admired her knowledge and dedication to giving the best possible front counter service and I learned a lot from her.
“Joan was a lovely lady, who radiated warmth and charm, as well as care and concern for others.
"She had a generous heart and will be much missed by her colleagues at New Malden Police office and by all who had the joy of knowing her."
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