given at the funeral of Gill Withers (7 Feb 1944 - 3 Dec 2006)
On Friday 15th December 2006 at All Saints Church, Leavesden
It is an enormous privilege to have been asked to give a tribute to Gill – but even that privilege shadows in comparison to the privilege of knowing Gill personally for so many years.
She may have been a small lady but she had a hugely compassionate heart , a zest for life and a bubbly personality which was infectious – and I am sure that is an opinion which is echoed by all the members of our All Saints family here at Leavesden.
When we think of the amount of work she put in to keep the work of the Lord alive in this parish, it seems incredible to believe that she had suffered from ill health all of her life and was not even expected to live beyond 20 years of age.
all of this work she has always
been supported by (as Gill would describe him) her darling Husband David to whom
she had been married for 41 years - and our hearts here go out to David at this
time and we will continue to surround him with our prayers.)
was born in Greenford, the only girl with 4 brothers and
have just heard a tribute from Gill’s brother Brian who
is one of three surviving brothers, Derek, Dave and Brian, one brother
died in 1948 in Polynesia whilst undertaking National Service.
started work as a typist at Rolls Royce progressing up the employment ladder to
P.A/Secretary. When Rolls
Royce closed she took a position as a P.A./Secretary at Nissan’s Car
With her Husband David, Gil was actively, involved for 25 years with the Ancient Order of Foresters being a Court Chief Ranger and then District Chief Ranger of the St .Alban’s District and the Chilterns District and they had so many valued friends there.
was also a member of the very popular U3A, joining the groups looking at
Victorian History, Lifestyle, Cookery and Calligraphy
loved any form of handicraft – making cross stitch cards and her own clothes
was a member of the Watford Flower Arrangers Society and the Abbots Langley
many years we have benefited in this church from Gill’s expertise with flower
arranging - the flowers we see to-day have been lovingly prepared by her team of
flower arrangers as a tribute to her.
sure you will agree the arrangements are outstanding.
association with all Saints started back in the early 1980s when her sister in
law Paddy encouraged both Gill and David to worship here and with the
encouragement of the incumbent at the time to be confirmed
then Gill has always been prepared to get involved – in fact in the past two
issues of the parish magazine we read all about her involvement – this was an
article Gill wrote about herself called
I Got Involved’
article shows how Gill and David were welcomed and supported spiritually - and
encouraged to become active members, starting with her typing the weekly prayer
and information sheet – a task which Gill was still undertaking at the time of
the usual encouragement Gill became a sidesperson, a member
of the social committee, women’s fellowship, choir, a member of the
Guild of Servers, lunch club helper and the leader of the flower arrangers,
was very involved in the life l of this church, she always recognised she was
doing the Lord’s work and that although she was not always well, it was God
who gave her the strength to do this, and she did it with great enjoyment in
was a kind loving person, always willing to help, much loved by all
who knew her, an inspiration to
us all - she had many many friends,
too numerous to mention names - as we can see from the full church all of whom have come to remember Gill for much affection,
don’t think I can say anything better than to quote from Gill’s own words at
the end of her magazine article:
back, it seems as though I have had my fingers in most pies, most of them I have
great fun doing, and I am still enjoying
good Lord gave me the ability to do these jobs for him and for my friends.
I approach every task with open arms and an open heart, but most of all
it gives me the opportunity to give thanks to God for this wonderful life he has
given me and which with the help of my darling Husband, friends and family I
enjoy every moment of.
you can’t help others, it’s not worth being here, I enjoy being involved and
it is a good way of saying Thank You. God
think this is a very poignant and fitting epitaph to Gill and one I am sure you
will all echo.
Return to In Memoriam Page