Yes. we still get a thought for the day and a Cartoon...
But chiefly today is to capture the spirit of the day yesterday at the Funeral..
The rain came down in torrents ... but the drive to the Crematorium was through the fields and woods and avoided all the main traffic that would have made the journey far worse....
And as I have with previous services - I record the details of the ceremonial ....
Order of Celebration
We started with Moon River by Andy Williams...
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the West Chapel at Bournemouth…
May I first offer sincere thanks on behalf of Vic, of Lynne and Steve and their family, of Sue and myself and our family, for the kind words, thoughts, expressions of condolence, and good will that has been extended at this difficult time.
and a special thank you to those of you who have managed to come along to support us all, as we take an opportunity to remember Jean.
It may be grey outside and that may reflect that this day is tinged with sadness, but that does not mean that it has to be a sad occasion… We each have our distinct memories of Jean,
as a wife, mother, grandmother, relation, or friend,
And those memories together weave a wonderful story of her life, her energy, her joys in music, dancing, painting, her abilities as a tailor, her stall with her antiques and curios, being belle of the ball at the captain’s table on her many cruises..
And those memories mean that she lives on in our hearts. So today is an opportunity to celebrate that life.
To celebrate those memories
And to realise that she touched each of us in a special and unique way…
Jean was 89 years old – and she managed to pack a lot of fun and enjoyment into those years. She came into my life in the late seventies when she and Vic married. I could write a
book on the last 40 years. But there was a rich life before as well and Steve will say some words to remind us of the wonderful woman who was part of all our lives….
The last years were not easy. But perhaps were worse for those of us about her as she slipped into her own world. I have many memories of Jean over the years, but one distinct vison I have is of her in her later years, as she sat upon her bed gazing out onto the Garden that she loved so much – quietly, and it seemed to me that she was contented - reflecting upon those years that had passed.
Perhaps, as the music plays we can each reach into out memories of Jean and remember that there were some “very good years”
Frank Sinatra - A very good year....
If I may now call upon Steve to say some words…….
Jean was born in Kilburn on 13th September 1929. She was the 7th child adding to her family of 3 sisters and 3 brothers. Lynne recalls her mum rallying sympathy that (quote) ‘I never knew my father’ to the faux sound of air violins from Lynne, family and friends.
Life was tough for her and the family in those days. In their 2 bedroom tenement, her older sisters did much to alleviate the burdens on her mum. Jean recalled being locked in a room for her safety while her hardworking mum went out to work and pay the bills. For all of this, Jean always recalled the fun, banter and laughter in her busy household.
During the war, Jean was evacuated with her much loved brother, Reg, to Bedfordshire. At first, they were fostered by a family she hated. Jean remembered her sixpence and chocolate ration was meanly confiscated and given in turn to their chubby son…sound like a Harry Potter story!! Eventually, she was rescued by another family that she loved and was loved in return. So much so, they wanted to adopt her although didn’t happen!
After the war, Jean attended a trade school in London learning to be a tailor.
This was a skill that Jean always embraced although not her real desire. I bet that most of us here had something made or altered by her over the years! Let alone the neighbour’s.
After trade school, Jean mostly worked in the West End making high quality clothing for the wealthy.
Whist all this was going on, Jean had what would seem a pretty good social life. Fridays and Saturdays were easily filled with dance nights at the Hammersmith or Cricklewood Palais. She loved to jive and this played a big part in her meeting Joe, Lynne’s Dad, which eventually led them to marry in 1952.
Jean again recalled her love of motorbikes during that era. As pillion to Joe, she fell off the motorbike knocking herself out. She woke hours later in hospital with a nun leaning over her and Christmas carols playing in the background. She thought she had died and gone to Heaven!
Then in May 1957, Lynne was invented. This, in my opinion, was Jeans best achievement to date, Lynne was not only her daughter it became a friendship made in heaven. They were like peas from the pod, best buddies. And it was all like falling off a bike!
Added to the pleasures of Lynne and life in Shrewsbury Avenue was her close and lifelong friendships with Pat and Jan
Her marriage with Joe wasn’t to be. Happily, she met Vic, on the dancefloor again. Vic proved to be her shining light, her rock, event’s organiser and travel agent. I will always remember Jean & Vic’s love of big occasions, cruises and many years of happiness together……..Vic, you found a winner there.
After marrying in 1978, they lived in Mill Hill for 10 years. They made the decision to emigrate to Dorset, based partly on the theory that grandchildren was not a likely prospect. They were slightly wrong…….. 5 in all came along.
Moving to Dorset wasn’t going to get in the way of Jean and Vic playing Nanny Jean and Grandad Vic. There were many week long excursions that Lucy Sophie and Olivia had with visits to Mudeford, G&Ts, and the dry ski slopes to name but a few activities. We have since found out, they were spoilt rotten!!!!
Today, we have the memories….
I remember all the little things, especially…the scuttling of Jeans bedroom slippers as she busied herself with whatever, her happy lah lah lah songs that she sang. I never did recognise them, did you? And her skill at providing a NICE cup of tea, never an ordinary one.
Undeniably, Jeans glass was always more than half full and never half empty.
Lucy said, whenever asked if she could go back in time, what time would she pick, she answers ‘a day with my Nan when she was young’
I know Lynne wants to make her own tribute and has asked me to express it……and I quote….
‘My mother Jean was a warm, loving, caring person, who could always light up a room with her presence. She made my childhood wonderful, never doubting my journey through life. Always ready to give advice, council and eat chocolate with. I cannot tell you how much I love her, she has been my best friend and my ray of sunshine. I love you mum and will miss you for ever.’
We then had the Winkle Song - sung by me... (I don't have my own version yet)
Thank you to Steve for those words..
This may be the only time that these walls will resound to the sounds of the Winkle Song – but it was a favourite and so it is fitting to hear as we share our memories.
And now – we come to that part of our day – when we take our leave of Jean. When we say a sad goodbye.
We have celebrated her life … and take pleasure that she has lived with us… our memories will take her forward in our lives as we leave this room….
So long as we keep our fond memories she will never be apart from us – it is as though she is but in the next room …
Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the star maker
We let you go
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy
Go safely, go dancing,
go running home…
I would like to thank everyone for attending… and we will part with the sounds of Frank Sinatra once again…
Jean Payne – nee Sullivan – nee Lock
You made us feel so young…
You made us feel so young…
Vic would like everyone to join us in the House Martin afterwards...
The Parting Glass