Joan Clarey 10th July 1923   - November 2008

We gather together today to give thanks for Joan's life and reflect on our memories of her.

Joan Mary Tinworth was born on 10th July 1923 in Bambers Green, where she lived at The Hoppit for 20 years, before moving with her beloved mother, Etiza, to the bungalow at Highfields. She was baptized in this church on 7th October 1923 and has been very much a part of the church family here throughout her life.

On leaving school, Joan worked in a shoe shop in Bishops Stortford called Lotus and Delta.

She had very happy memories of the war years, and as part of the war effort, she worked on Digby's Farm, although I belief that she never officially became part of
the Land Army.

War time seemed a very happy time for her, and was certainly a time that she looked back on with great affection. Joan often recalled the times when, with her friends, she would cycle from a dance at the Foakes Hall in Dunmow and rush back to the Silver Jubilee Hall in Takeley to catch the last half hour of their Saturday dance,

She also recalled the times when she cycled beneath the wings of Marauder bombers stationed at Easton Lodge on her way to dances, as the American airmen were a welcome addition to the locality for Joan and her friends.

She was married to Peter in this church on 27th August 1949, but sadly, the marriage was not to last- However, she dedicated her attention and love to bringing up their only son, Tim. For a long time she combined this with her job at Charles Collins Nurseries in Great Canfield, making certain that she had done everything she could to give him a good upbringing.

She enjoyed having her grandchildren Kelly and Andrew to look after, and they enjoyed the chance to stay overnight. However, they don't have such fond memories of having their faces washed three times each night!

She was a much loved grandmother, and later great grandmother, although she saw less of the younger ones as they have been in Spain, and flying for Joan was out of the question.

When Joan finally gave up work she liked nothing more than spending time working in her garden. She continued to do this right up until she was 80, and I often saw her late in the evening still doing some weeding. Unusually though she hated the thought of ever sitting out in her garden to enjoy the benefit of all that she had done.

Joan was well known in Takeley. She had attended church regularly all her life until about 4 years ago, she had regularly had lunch at Takeley Community Centre and she enjoyed days out both with them and the Great Canfield Happy Circle- She had also enjoyed regular evenings at Takeley Sports and Social Club. where she played bingo with her friends.

There was also the ongoing saga of her possible move to Priors Wood Court, where she was offered numerous flats, which would have been far more suitable for her and given her some company with neighbours who were well known to her. However, she turned down every one, only to immediately regret her decision, as she knew she had been wrong. However, if she were honest, she never really intended to leave Highfields, where she had such
fond memories of her mother.

She would often be seen walking up to the shops at the Four Ashes, but you may have noticed that she often did this carrying an umbrella. This was done to disguise the fact that she really needed a walking stick, but would have been too embarrassed to use one.

She was someone who always liked to be smartly dressed when she went out. This was still the case even in the war years, as she would use her mum's coupons to get new clothes.

She had suffered most of her life with MS, but had managed to overcome most of her problems with this until a few years ago. Since then, apart from stays in hospital and a local home, she has been fairly housebound and relied on visits from family, friends and carers to keep her going.

Particular thanks must be given to George, who visited every morning, her carers Anne and Annie, and of course, Tim and Leslie, and in their absence Andrew. There were a number of others who visited regularly, but sadly over the last few years some good friends, such as Annie, died and her gardener Matt became too ill to work. Other neighbours sold their houses and moved away in the recent exodus from Takeley. All this added to the depression that she suffered from, and it was often difficult for some of those visiting, especially when she came out with her favourite saying, "I do hope the good Lord takes me soon!" That he has now done, so Joan has had her prayer answered and we pray that she is now at rest and at peace, reunited with her beloved mother.

As I mentioned earlier, her garden at Highfields meant so much to her. I read the passage from Genesis about the garden of Eden that God created, as it describes a perfect creation, where Adam and Eve could live happily in God's presence and meet him in the garden in the cool of the day. For Joan her garden was a bit of paradise, but as in the story, things changed later on. With her failing health she was unable to be out enjoying the paradise of her garden, where I'm sure that she felt God's presence with her.

The passage from Genesis also describes how God created Eve, and enabled her to enjoy the beauty of the garden. Joan too was created by God and given the opportunity to enjoy her garden. We can also reflect on God's promise that all who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, whilst they might die in this life, will receive the gift of eternal life in his presence. And so today, as fellow Christians, we can give thanks that Joan is now enjoying the nearer presence of God. as she receives that gift of eternal life.


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