Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Sandra Maria Jones – “Sandie”, 16th March 1952 – 3rd March 2016

From the Parish News – May 2016

St Mary’s church in Denton was packed on March 23rd for the funeral of Sandie Jones. Everyone who knew her wanted to be there to remember the contribution that she had made to their lives and to support Billy and the rest of the family in their sad loss. Fittingly, reflecting their involvement in both villages, the reception afterwards was held at Alburgh Village Hall.

The service was led by Barry Cramp and included two eulogies – from Gill Hipwell and, very bravely, from Billy himself. They spoke about different aspects of her life but both talked about the way she appreciated, understood and communicated so well with other people.

The collection, for the British Red Cross, raised a total of £1,329.00 reflecting the support they had provided to Sandie and Billy.

Sandie grew up in the Waveney Valley but her life changed when she met Billy who had come down from Liverpool. They set up home in Lowestoft and worked together as a team running their own paint-stripping business for 20 years. Of course working in the business had to be fitted in with the challenge of bringing up their five children - two tasks which she combined so well. For Sandie the family always came first and they have many happy memories of caravan holidays in North Wales and elsewhere. Later Sandie and Billy enjoyed annual trips to Italy where she further developed her great interest in architecture.

In 1999 they moved to Denton to do up Rectory Cottage; by then restoration had become a passion for Sandie. But Billy also encouraged her to get involved in village life and she became an active member of the Gardening, Art and Book Clubs, making many good friends in all three. She served on the Gardening Club Committee and her wide knowledge of plants and gardening was much appreciated by club members. She designed and created wonderful gardens to go with all her homes.

After ten years in Denton it was time for a new challenge so Sandie and Billy moved to Church Farm in Alburgh for another restoration project and another new garden. They invited the Norfolk Historic Building Group to survey and date the house. They then became active members of the group and Sandie developed a passion for timber-framed houses.

As Gill Hipwell explained in her address, Sandie was passionate about everything she worked on but it wasn’t her style to take charge or flaunt her knowledge. Fellow gardeners were encouraged by her generous praise and enthusiasm and would turn to her for information and advice. Sandie loved to share her expertise but would wait to be asked; she was always modest about her many accomplishments. Gill ended with a quote from a mutual friend which sums up our memories so well – “More than anything she was bloody good fun and we will miss her desperately.”

We all extend our deepest sympathy to Billy and the family.

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