Wendy Utley was born Wendy Jackson, in Manchester, in 1929.
Wendy began skating at the Manchester Ice Palace, Cheetham Hill , at a very early age and by her 10th birthday had joined the NSA.
Our surviving test pass books record her passing her 2nd class figure test on 1st January 1941. During the war years Wendy continued to skate when possible and by the time the war ended she had passed her 1st class figure and free and second class ice dance tests. This enabled to her to compete in both the Junior and Senior Ladies Championships.
By the late 1940’s she was partnering John Slater in ice dance competitions, whilst still skating singles.
In 1953 Wendy married her husband Charles Heane, and although concentrating on raising her family she still found time to begin her judging career.
By 1966 Wendy had been elevated to the first class judging panel for figure and the second class ice dance panel but, sadly, that same year, Wendy was widowed .
Wendy progressed with her judging and by the early 1970’s was a member of the Ice Figure Committee, where she served for many years.
During this time, In 1971, Wendy married her second husband, John.
Wendy judged and refereed at both British Championships and many international events but the most memorable competition she Judged must surely be the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympic Ladies Championship, when a crying Tonya Harding , having already been given a 2 minute warning, which she only just made, was permitted to leave the ice to put in a new lace and skate later in the order.
Wendy suffered health problems a few years ago and moved to a nursing home in the Lake District, where she died peacefully in her sleep on 19th January 2019 aged 89.
Funeral service will be held at 12.45pm on Monday 4th February at The Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael. Carmel, Cumbria, LA11 6QD.
Followed by cremation at Beetham Hall Crematorium, Milnthorpe LA7 7BQ.
Obituary by Elaine Hooper, British Ice Skating Historian