Tooting nursery founder and brave charity fundraiser dies just days after being made an MBE aged 96 – South London News

By Rhiannon Du Cann

The founding father of the Eveline Day & Nursery Faculties and MBE, Maria Keaveney-Jessiman, has died aged 96. 

Maria, a Wimbledon resident, was awarded an MBE for her providers to training within the Queen’s 2021 New 12 months’s Honour record simply days earlier than her passing in January. 

She was recognised for her affect on training of the younger and obtained the ‘Excellent Contribution Award’ from the Nationwide Day Nursery Affiliation in 2018.  

The daughter of Mark and Mary, Maria was born in Kilcooley village, County Galway, the place she attended Kilcroan Faculty from the age of 5. 

Maria moved to Scotland aged 19 to embark on a profession in nursing earlier than shifting to London the place she joined the Civil Service working for the Ministry of Well being. 

Maria met her husband Alf within the late Nineteen Forties and so they married in St. Anselm’s Church, Tooting in 1950. 

That they had three kids, a daughter, Eveline and twin sons, Justin and Gordon.

Maria started a child-minding service from her household dwelling in Tooting whereas caring for her personal younger kids. 

She then opened the primary Eveline Day Nursery on Huron Street, Tooting in 1964 after a well being inspector was so impressed by the extent of care she offered. 

On the time, younger moms have been anticipated to stay at dwelling to lift kids and the absence of state-run nursery locations was a barrier. 

However Maria believed moms wished to work and nurseries must be an ‘extension of the house’ the place kids have been protected and will thrive in stimulating environments.

Maria additionally thought it was vital to help moms and households of the youngsters. 

Maria ran her personal enterprise whereas taking care of her three younger kids – a uncommon mixture within the Sixties. 

Due to her progressive pondering and joined by her husband in enterprise, Maria established seven extra nurseries throughout South West London. 

The Eveline Day Faculty opened in Balham in 1989, headed by Maria’s daughter Eveline who shares the identical ardour for training. 

Maria was the principal of the Eveline Day & Nursery Faculties for over 50 years.

She was actively concerned within the operating of the nurseries and faculty and her ardour for childcare and training continued unabated after her husband’s passing in 2015. 

The enterprise stays household run after Gordon additionally joined and contains seven nurseries and one faculty in South West London. 

She surpassed her personal fundraising problem elevating cash for youngsters’s charities near her coronary heart by climbing 100,000 steps at dwelling through the 2020 lockdown aged 95. 

Maria died on January 14 at St. George’s Hospital, Tooting.  

Maria will probably be deeply missed by her kids, grandchildren, many nice grandchildren, sisters, and all her prolonged household at Eveline Day Nursery Faculties.  

The funeral service will probably be held at Sacred Coronary heart church, Edge Hill on 22 February. 

As a result of present covid-19 restrictions, solely 30 individuals are in a position to attend. 

There will probably be a procession after the service, passing The Justin James Lodge, 30 Ritherdon Street and Swan Home, Balham Excessive Street, lastly stopping at Blackshaw Street Cemetery the place anybody is welcome to attend.

Please be reminded of social distancing because of the present pandemic.

For people who want to be a part of just about, the under stay streams will probably be happening:

           11,30am: Church service 

           2pm: Cemetery service (Password- EvelineDay) 

To make a donation in reminiscence of Maria, the household have reopened the earlier Simply Giving fundraising web page for her chosen charities: Rianna’s Fund, Winston’s Want and NHS charities.

If you happen to want to ship flowers, please ship them on to the handle under, to reach at 9am on 22 February. Please observe they won’t be open on Sunday.

Mears and Cotterill Funeral Administrators

169 Merton Street



SW18 5EF

Ref: Please embrace Mrs Maria Keaveney-Jessiman

The household hopes to rejoice her life later within the yr when it’s protected to take action.

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