A few short weeks ago I was telling you how Ivy had attained her century, received her card from The Queen, and generally had a lovely time. Now the sad news of her passing has come, and I am finding it hard to accept.
Ivy was my next-door neighbour and friend for 44 years. We went all over the place together and memories of visits to Scotland are very precious. She spent a lot of time there with her husband, Dick and glowed when near any of the Lochs, like Lomond (above). She had a zest for life, people, new things in whatever shape or form, and had a capacity for friendship and the energy to care for so many people which was really quite something to behold. Her long life spanned many good and bad times. She worked in her father’s business and drove the old van they had. To listen to her tell (in her own inimitable way) about the time the wheel came off the vehicle in the middle of Leeds City Centre was hilarity at its best. She knew the worry of waiting for her future husband to fly across from Canada, where he was serving, for their wedding day during World War 11, the painful loss of two baby boys at birth. She picked herself up after this and went on with her life, emigrating to Canada for 12 years and then her return to be with her family.
When Dick died in 1983, she was bereft once more, but again that indomitable spirit saw her through and she rebuilt her life with her interests in people, her church, Mother’s Union, The Bramley Historical Society, of which she was one of the founder members, The Bramley Elderly Action, and then at the age of 75 years, she found time, energy and an unbounding enthusiasm for Scottish Country Dancing. I will never forget the flourish with which she danced and the sheer joy that she emitted when she did so. When she had to enter a Care Home, it didn’t stop there. She promptly set about teaching the staff how to dance up and down the corridors.
Such was this extraordinary lady who I had the privilege to call my friend. Someone who could be relied upon to come up trumps whenever the occasion demanded and whatever she did to help was done with a goodness of heart that did not make one feel beholden.
Rest in peace Ivy in the knowledge that this befuddled world will be hard put too to know your like again