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Tributes paid to Lothersdale village stalwart
12:00pm Thursday 26th December 2013 in News
Tribute has been paid to long-time Lothersdale resident Audrey Jones, who has died aged 65.
Audrey, who most recently lived in Cross Hills, died on December 3 – 50 years to the day since she met her husband, Ray Jones.
She was born in Lothersdale, where her family – the Smiths and the Pickles – had lived for many centuries.
Audrey met Ray in 1963 at Johnson and Johnson’s in Gargrave, where she was a comptometer operator and balanced the books for the chief accountant aged just 15.
Audrey and Ray married when she was 18, and the couple had three sons – Gavin, Nigel and Michael – as well as five grandchildren.
Mr Jones said: “Despite many health setbacks, including four heart attacks and several severe tachycardia episodes, Audrey showed her qualities as a fighter.
“Her fighting quality was never better displayed in her long and painful battle with uterine cancer. She never complained or felt sorry for herself.”
Audrey also led the campaign against plans to sell her beloved Bethel Chapel in Lothersdale and its graveyard.
An accomplished artist, Audrey was awarded an honours degree in graphic design in 1985.
She was also a member of Skipton Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, where she not only performed but also designed artistic stage backdrops.
“Because she was so modest about being a painter, people were astounded by her work,” said Ray.
She was also a member of Nelson Ladies Civic Choir when it was chosen as the best choir in Britain in 1981, and she was a member of Mensa since her early 20s.
Audrey was a lifelong supporter of Ray in his cricket activities in four countries, including Spain, where she was instrumental in starting the Sporting Alfas CC on the Costa Blanca.
Mr Jones added: “Audrey will be sorely missed, not only by her family but by so many organisations and friends here, and in other countries, for the work she did.”
A funeral service was held at St Peter’s Methodist Church in Cross Hills prior to interment at Bethel Chapel.