Sad but Grateful: reflections on the passing of Auntie Dorothea (and a generation)

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19
– Dorothea and John in October

There is a lot to write about today, but I’m going to save most of it for another post and share this short tribute to my dad’s youngest sibling, Dorothea, who passed away yesterday evening following a short illness. She was 84.

I can’t really talk about Auntie Dorothea without reference to the entire Maul family. My Grandpa and Grandma Maul (Fred and Connie) raised their four children – Gladys, David, Margaret, and Dorothea – in Rayleigh, Essex, 35 miles to the east of London, in the 1930’s and 40’s, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and World War Two.

To say the family was anchored in faith – and faithfulness – would be an understatement. The Mauls lived, and loved, and went to church, and built a business, and begat four more families (Maul, Salmon, Hoad, Clements), who produced 13 grandchildren, who each went on to raise their own families as people deeply committed to following Jesus with energy and imagination and grace and passion.

1973 – Fred and Connie Maul’s 50th (Dorothea seated holding infant Liz…)

Animated with light and love:

This is what animated Dorothea with so much light and love and unfailing commitment, as she and uncle John raised the Clements arm of the family in the sure foundation of such an unwavering love of God, friendship with Jesus, and nurturing life in the Holy Spirit.

Because of Dorothea’s life and witness – along with John, the deep legacy of Grandma and Grandpa Maul is now etched into the DNA and lived out through the faithful lives of her children – my cousins Ruth, Elizabeth, Jonathan, and Hannah.

Dorothea’s passing is especially significant inasmuch it marks, other than my mum, the end of a generation in my family tree. Margaret, Gladys, David, Dorothea (all Mauls); and then my mother’s (the Kemp side) brother and sister, Norman and Mary, who both passed away over a decade ago.

I cannot express how grateful I am that Rebekah and I were able to visit Dorothea and John, along with my cousin Ruth, in October.

– me with Dorothea and John, October 2022

My love, and our prayers, are with uncle John and my cousins. May the beautiful witness of Dorothea’s faithfulness and love continue to shine like a warm light through the lives of Ruth, and Liz, and Jonathan, and Hannah.

In love, and because love sustains us – DEREK


  1. Yes, the little birthday book I have that belonged to my mum says their wedding day was 2nd June 1923. The Bible verse says “Mercy unto you, and peace and love be multiplied” (Jude 2). Auntie Dorothea’s birthdate was 29th March 1938. Her Bible verse says “Thou art my hope, O Lord God; thou art my trust from my youth. O God, be not far from me” (Psalm 71 vs 5 and 12). Grandpa was born 15th April 1894 and Grandma 27th June of the same year. Amazing and somehow beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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