The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
Joan was born in Scotland in 1919. The family moved for health reasons to Kent, both parents worked and Joan did not have fond memories of this time. Her father became ill with TB and her mother had to work to support the family.
She won a scholarship to Rochester Girls Grammar School and then entered the Civil Service straight from school. When her mother died, Joan went to live with her Aunt Phyllis and her daughter Anna.
I was born in 1943 and from birth effectively had two mothers. Aunty Joan adored me from the start making beautiful dresses for me, taking me on holidays and generally spoiling me. When I was 10 Joan moved to Plymouth and years later she told me she nearly didn’t go as it meant leaving me behind. I can remember how upset we were when she left home. Aunty Joan was always very generous and paid for me to go to a private school.
She spent some time in Plymouth and then had another promotion to an Executive Officer in the Admiralty in Portsmouth. One evening in late 1960 she was invited out to dinner. She went rather reluctantly as she felt that she was just making up the numbers. She met Archie that evening.
They married in 1961. Archie also worked for the Admiralty on Portsdown Hill but Joan was forced to retire as the Civil Service did not employ married women. They moved into Charlesworth Drive where she lived for the rest of her life. She had an active life in the community and in later years learnt sequence dancing. They also qualified as dance teachers. They made wonderful friends through dancing. They made two visits to Australia, much to our delight.
Joan was always the rock of the family. She was fiercely loyal to her friends and family and had a very generous spirit. However she was her own person and would always put forward her point of view.
After Archie’s death 5 years ago she became more and more frail. We tried to move her to a nursing home but she refused to go preferring to stay in the home that she had shared with Archie. She was a very courageous lady who never complained and was always cheerful in spite of her failing health. She will be greatly missed by her family.
Anna Askew, Joan’s niece,
now living in Australia
Winter Edition 2011