Auntie Doris’s They Died Too Young #28 Jeanine Paule Marie Deckers – Died March 29th 1985 aged 51.

Jeanine was better known as “The Singing Nun” or “Sister Smile.” She was a Belgian lass, she was really a nun, and she had an international pop hit when she was 30 in 1963 with a happy sounding song called “Dominique.”
Imagine that! A ruddy nun in the hit parade, and it wasn’t Julie Andrews! She was a proper Catholic Nun who believed (as they do) that she was married to Jesus.
She got really famous really quickly and toured the ruddy world, doing concerts and going on the television all over the place. The famous actress, Debbie Reynolds out of “Debbie Does Dallas” even portrayed her in one of them Hollywood Movies.
But at the heart of her story was a tragedy. She was one of them Lesbians. Not that I’ve got anything against lesbians you understand. As far as I’m concerned, good luck to them. If you are a lesbian you are much less likely to end up living with a useless lump like my Raymond, and that can’t be a bad thing. I would have been one myself, but I just couldn’t develop those sort of feelings. I would have rather stroked my Hairy Mary than got that friendly with another woman. Come to think of it, by the time I got my Hairy Mary, I would much rather have stroked her than got that friendly with my Raymond. She was a lovely little Doggie. I was ruddy apoplectic when he went and trod on her getting out of bed that morning. I never had another companion like her until after he had died and I got Madamoiselle Tuppence.
Any road it was bad enough being a pop star when you was a Catholic Nun. Never mind if you found out you were a lesbian an’all. So she had to leave the Nunnery.
The trouble was that she had given all her pop music money to the other nuns. Probably so they could mend the nunnery roof, or buy some new wimples or something. So she was skint.
The further trouble was that the Belgian Government didn’t believe her, and decided that she owed them thousands and thousands of Belgian pounds in tax. And they got increasingly grumpy with her when she couldn’t pay up.
It wasn’t as if she was living in luxury either. Her and her girlfriend were just about making ends meet, and seeing as they were still religious and kind hearted, they were trying to run a school for autistic children an’all. They had hearts of gold.
But the government weren’t having any nonsense. It looked like they would be declared bankrupt and have to become paupers for the rest of their days. Even releasing a disco version of “Dominique” didn’t help. She was yesterday’s news, and no one wants to pay good money for a disco version of yesterday’s news. So her and her girlfriend took an overdose of tablets and topped themselves.
Very sad. Religious rules and over zealous tax collectors. Fortunately, Jeanine and her girlfriend are very happy here on the other side. They play concerts together and sing lots of new songs, as well as Dominique. Not that either of them would advise anyone to top themselves though. They even think that things might have turned out a lot better for them in the realm of the living if they hadn’t. Depression is a terrible thing. But most people manage to get through it with help. And people aren’t quite as horrible to lesbians as they used to be. Or Catholics. Most of the time.