- 62 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 14, 1951
- Date of passing: Dec 7, 2013
|"Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea." Lord Alfred Tennyson|
This memorial website was created in memory of Sue Le Blond, 62, born on June 14, 1951 and passed away on December 7, 2013. A wonderfully warm, creative and spirited character, she will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. We hope you will use this space to celebrate her life and share happy memories of her.
Here's another year flown past and the world looks scarier than ever. I'm sure you'd have had some wise words of love and laughter.
You've been with me all year in many ways. You were there in June when I lit a candle in the tiny dark Georgian church in the mountains on my 30th birthday.
You were there on the dusty roads in Cuba this October, listening with me to the crackly old ska music you discovered in Jamaica.
You were with us just days ago in Berlin when Tim visited on tour with the Oysterband and played fiery folk to an ecstatic crowd.
And you were here on Sunday in our kitchen, with the frost gathering outside, lighting the second advent candle and singing O Come, O Come Emannuel.
And so, as much as I miss the sound of your voice on the end of the phone, I feel your presence so often in my life, mum.
Stay with me this year, too.
All my love, Josie xxx"
"Thinking of you today Mum. Love Simon XXX"
"Only just got round to reading 'Mama Told Me Not To Come', just about half way through, and I can see you now, enjoying every moment, so you. Of course we had lost touch by that stage in our lives, and it was much later before we were in contact again but I think of you so often - all the problems you had and yet you still managed to help me cope with mine, even now I can see that smile, here's to 'When We Were 10'. Miss you still, much love and fond memories Magsie"
"Such a privilege to have had Sue in one's life - she has left a big silence. Dickens and Coleridge would have been proud of her, waving the flag for their great works. Still miss you Sue and of course your special, welcoming smile."
"I have such fond memories of Sue and will always remember her spirit, I'm very glad to have grown up knowing her. Happy Birthday xx"
"I too think of you a lot and very much miss our conversations. I can't pick up a teapot without thinking of Mrs.Gamp and hearing your voice quoting the lines from Dickens. I put a rose from our garden in the vase you gave me today and thought of your marvellous attitude to life and literature. A great loss. With love xx"
"Dear Mum, we all miss you very much. I know you are in a better place, but I still miss your crazy sense of humour, creativity, guidance and advice, and most of all, your loving presence in my life. Happy 65th Birthday. Love Simonxxx"
"Dear Sue, I so wish we could be sharing your 65th birthday with you today. I have posted a photo of your lovely rose bush that you gave me three years ago. It has the most beautiful scent and it looks at its best in June. I think of you every morning when I go out to the garden. Much love. Dx"
"Thinking of you on your birthday. Miss you very much. X"
"So, you would have been 65 today, Mum, and had things been different we would have had a legendary knees up. Something along the lines of your 50's-themed Lipstick on Your Collar party for your 40th, or your Great Failures fancy dress for your 45th. Or, your last Swanage-themed send off. Instead, we're all thinking of you and missing your colourful imagination. Will raise a glass in your honour, much love as always xxx"
"Not just birthdays, Christmas or any other time, just think of you often and smile, just to match your smile, you still cheer me up when I'm down."
"Yesterday I received a Linked In contact request from a guy we knew while at Sheffield University, who I haven't seen or heard from for decades. I SO wanted to phone Sue and talk about those days, something we always did when we met up. On my last visit, she showed me the Sheffield University diaries, beautifully written and wittily illustrated, of course. I miss her."
"I miss you Mum. We all miss you. Love Simon xXx"
"Dear Mum, another year gone by and every day there's something I wish I could share with you. I miss your wit and rich imagination very much. Thinking of you today especially of course, but also all through this spectacular autumn which I know you'd have loved. Keep laughing. All my love, as always, Josie xxx"
"Still can't believe you're not around to share the old jokes with. Often think of you. God bless - always. Sally xx"
"Sue your hero, Frank Gardner, is constantly heard on the radio. You would have loved to hear his beautiful voice. Is it really two years since you left us.............."
"Thinking of Sue and her family today. I miss her so much. Dx"
"Had internet problems but been trying to leave my thoughts with you since December. Always missed, thought of often, thats when I smile,"
"We had a lovely walk in your memory on Sunday Mum. We know you enjoyed it too. All our love xxx"
"I was pondering on the loss of several dear friends and how they pop, unexpectedly into my mind without warning. Certainly Sue has come into my mind many, many times, always with thoughts of her smiling welcome and amazing fortitude. She was one in a million and these impromptu memories are the best legacy she could leave. I am sure she would love what Simon and Sarah have done with the house and be so proud of Josie's achievements."
"Sue and family have been in my thoughts a lot this weekend. Anniversaries are hard - the first Xmas, the first birthday, the first year...I miss my dear friend so much. So many great memories of her warmth and laughter."
"So often in my thoughts. Sally xx"
"Sue is always in our thoughts but yesterday was particularly poignant. Dx"
"Thinking about Sue on her birthday today. There was so much laughter with Sue but also such deep thoughts. A creative and passionate observer of life."
"Happy birthday Sue Le Blond.I am honoured to have worked for you.You will be greatly missed.
"Remembering your party last year and thinking of you always.
Pat and Rob xx"
"Happy birthday Mum, I've been thinking about our great seaside party a year ago today. And all those special moments. Listening to Eddie Cochran and remembering your love of those doomed rock and rollers. Love you always, Josie xxx"
"Still miss you. Remembered especially on your Birthday.
"This weekend brought back so many memories of Sue. She loved to entertain and her Burns Night suppers were legendary. I remember one in particular at Crown Court where McGonagall was invoked, Burns was read and we even danced a dashing White Sergeant or was it a Gay Gordons? Last year she enjoyed her haggis and read the poetry with such expression and feeling. Sue was all about poetry, prose and drama - lyrical, witty,academic and expressive. Reading her memoir is liking hearing her talk again and that is a wonderful thing to have to us all."
"As a colleague of Sue's at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, I enjoyed her warmth and company as well as her fund of knowledge. Her enthusiasm for Austen was abundantly clear and she brought the novels and characters to life for the visitors. She started the Jane Austen Regency World magazine,exploring ideas and sharing different aspects of the novels and the period as well. She was a vibrant and funny soul, a one-off, who dealt with illness and difficulty with amazing good humour. I hadn't seen Sue for some time, but on a dark wet winter's day, her funeral was a bright, joyous and uplifting occasion and I felt that I had spent time in her company. Josie and Simon ..you both did so well and enabled her to speak to all of us there...thank you."
"SHARE A STORYShared by Sally Ferrers on 12/23/2013
I drove through BoA last night and was given a sharp reminder that there will be no more visits to Sue and seeing her face light up with pleasure when I came through the door. My abiding memory will be her smile and laughter and of course the spontaneous recitation of tracts of literature. Random words in conversation would instantly elicit extracts from Dickens, Jane Austen or her beloved Coleridge. She never failed to amaze me. I first met Sue in the Dandy in BoA where a bunch of us would meet on Saturday mornings for sparkling wit and chat - it was a lot of fun. Sue then departed for The Lakes and Ulverston to be with dear Michael, the gentle giant. What inspiring drives we had in that stunning scenery. Sue exhibited her paintings in an exhibition at Brantwood, home of John Ruskin, where she also received the visitors and happily regaled them with Ruskin stories.
Sadly, despite two exhilarating years in Ulverston, things didn't work out and she returned to BoA where she picked up on her friendships and worked hard at writing, reviewing theatre events and even giving lectures on Jane Austen. She put most of us to shame with her industry. Lovely memories are of her Beach Party, (if you can't get to Swanage, bring it to BoA), whizzing her up and down the corridors of Chippenham hospital in her wheelchair - and the nursing staff turning a blind eye, meeting the three delightful Kenyan carers and the fish and chip steam train trip to Minehead with Michael, always fun and laughter when Sue was around.
I feel bereft that she has gone, but she is at peace now and her huge personality will never be forgotten.
With love from
"For Mum, here's a virtual candle of hope for you, like the one you lit every day. I thought I'd post the text of my eulogy at the moving funeral we held last week, so that others can read it. Keep laughing, all my love Josie xxx
To me – and to many of you – Mum seemed to be most enjoying life when plucking some quote from a limitless store of allusions to great English literature or pop culture. Possessing as she did an encyclopedic mind for what she held dear, she could conjure a line to fit any occasion. On bad days she would cheer herself with the hammed-up cry of Hamlet's lament “O my offense is rank.” On others, she would rally hope with the brylcreemed sincerity she found in fifties crooner Jim Reeves' line that “I love you cos the future's brighter.”
And from my earliest memories of Mum onwards it was always a case of “welcome to my world, won't you come on in.” The fabric of her world, the world I grew up in, was weaved by a rich imagination in which even the most mundane inanimate objects could be assigned a character. For many years “Joe” was the name she gave her trusty green Volvo car, after Joe Gargery, the lowly, honest blacksmith in Dickens Great Expectations. Later, she even brought the depressing apparatus of immobility to life, dubbing her two reclining chairs “Buddy” and “Eddie” after the doomed rock and rollers Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. Even her spindly wheelchair became Nigel, after the delicate, emotionally-vulnerable TV chef Nigel Slater.
For Mum, who thought nothing of christening a wheelchair, naming us kids when we came along was an act of significant symbolism. After long discussions with Dad, Simon was named after the spiritual, sensitive child in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, who risks everything to tell the other boys his enlightened truth. As for me, I was to be Josephine March of Louisa Alcot's Little Women, all willfull, passionate, untidy and restless.
When I was little, Mum would delight my friends and I by putting on a faux New England accent, getting us to call her “Marmy” and pretending we were all one of the March sisters. I was brave Jo of course, flying like the seagull as she always said, while the others took turns as responsible Meg, skittish Amy, or weak, not-long-for-this-world Beth, meekly resigning herself to lie in her sick bed and watch the sparrows come and go on the windowsill. When she died Mum had been writing about Beth. I think recently she had begun to see the character as less of a wet blanket, and more as a courageous soul facing death. (Maybe Beth was braver than Jo after all eh, Mum?)
Many of you knew Mum as a talented novellist, poet and playwright, others as a teacher, a director or an actress. To all these pursuits she brought her love of life, drama and most importantly, a good laugh. To me certainly, growing up, she was simply a lot of fun. Before nursery we would skip around the living room together pretending to be goblins to the final movement of Belioz's Symphony Fantastique. With Mum, it was any excuse for a lark.
I think she got a lot of it from her Dad, my Grandpa Tom, who was always larking about. When they got together there was guaranteed hilarity. On visits to our grandparents Mum and Grandpa would invariably do the dishes to a rousing chorus of On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at in exaggerated Yorkshire accents. If we were lucky, afterwards they'd announce a game of lurgy, which would always send Grandma scurrying off to shut herself up in the safety of the front room. The rules of Lurgy, or
Sock Lurgy, if there were any, were sketchy at best. The main aim was to chuck socks at each other in the dark. First we'd collect the contents of Grandpa's sock draw and ball them up into a arsenal of soft missiles. Then we'd split into two teams and take up positions up or downstairs. Finally all the lights would go off and, in total darkness, the four of us, Simon, Mum, Grandpa and I, would spend a happy hour battling over the no-mans land of the stairwell, with both teams trying to invade the other's territory using our sock stockpiles.
But undoubtedly Mum developed her star turn over the years of holidays in a small village in Pembrokeshire in South Wales. Every autumn half-term, we'd stay with family friends in a humble block of pebble-dashed coastal holiday flats. To Mum, it was a stage. After dinner a mischievous look would come into her eye. She'd don a long, burnt-orange jacket, flip up the oversized, fur-lined hood and announce that “Monk Woman” was abroad.
This was our signal for an outdoor game of night-time hide-and-seek. Again, we didn't bother with rules. The goal was simply not to let Monk Woman get you. Cowering on the dark hillside together with the other kids, I'd listen with a mixture of thrill and terror to Mum's “mad woman in the attic” impression of Mrs Rochester from Jane Eyre. The laugh started low and quiet, rising into a cackle out of the shadows. Whenever it all got too much for me, the youngest, I'd run over to her silhouette. She'd take down her hood, scoop me up in her arms, remind me it was all a game and let me be on “her side.”
But it wasn't all fun and games. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you who supported Mum through the hard times. You know who you are. As we all found as we strove to help her, Mum's nerves were often strained in recent years. We must put it down to the side-effects of medication, and to the MS, which she always said stood for “Miserable Sod.” But this is a celebration, so let's celebrate Mum's life by remembering her laughing. Despite all that life threw at her, she kept laughing, and making others laugh. After all, life's a beach, right? This is how I'll remember her, with pride. My strong mother who battled misfortune with rich fantasy and indomitable humour."
"From: Dot in Wembley
I have so many memories of Sue. We go back a long way, back to school days. Five of us have kept up through all the years - Sue, Jacq, Frances, Liz and me. Quite an achievement in the days before mobiles, email and Facebook.
We were in the same year at Enfield County School, our, not very good at preparing us for life, all girls' grammar school. But we were fortunate in having an inspirational English teacher - we were Miss Cox's girls. Sue went on to be an inspirational teacher herself, with the added ability of bringing drama and colour to every subject.
After that, university. I visited Sue at Sheffield and she came down to Leicester. Then we all went out into the world of work, marriage, children.
Children. Simon and Josie were the love of Sue's life. It has been a privilege to see them growing up into the warmhearted, impressive young adults they are today. Sue was so, so proud of them.
Sue loved Christmas and, although she didn't quite make this one, she had a lot of pleasure in planning it. We did the cards and the presents together a few weeks ago and were looking forward to what had lately become our traditional Christmas lunch of a large baked salmon, tasty salads and mulled wine beforehand. It was always a pleasure to cook for Sue. She took such delight in getting family and friends round for a meal.
Other memories are of notable holidays - Cornwall (three times), the Lake District, even a drama-filled visit, Sue in wheelchair, to see Josie in Berlin. She was determined to get there and she did. Determination was very much part of Sue's makeup. I was in awe at the strength of her willpower, which carried her through experiences which would have defeated most people.
And there was Cumbria, visiting Sue in Ulverston with its memories of dear Michael, and the buddhist community at Conishead Priory.
One of the things which sustained her through dark times was her love of literature - her dear friends Austen, Dickens and Hardy. And also her own writing. Above all else, she felt writing defined her. I am so glad she got to publish her final book, the Music Memoir. It sums up everything about Sue that we know and love. It's available on Amazon for those who haven't read it. (She would like me to give it one last plug!)
Over the years, I have always looked forward to coming down to see Sue in Bradford-on-Avon. What a beautiful part of the countryside. And what a rich life she led there with her church at Bearfield, the choir, her Martha and Mary and Scribblers groups, her courses at the Music Centre, and her open door to her many, many friends.
I will miss Sue very much.
"Sue and I first met when she was 12, about to start at Enfield County School and I was about to enter the 6th form at St Angela’s Grammar School. Over the next few years, our parents became lifelong friends, as did Sue and I, spending many hilarious hours together, at home or on holiday. Sue introduced me to so much literature, including Portrait of a Lady, which became one of many subjects for re-enactment. Others were more historical – Richard III, Colditz, etc. – most were as a result of TV series. (I have photos, but I think most are best kept for the family; though I will put a few on this site).
I remember several delightful holidays spent at my cousin’s farmhouse in Cumnor, when we would be out on bicycles all day, exploring the countryside, coming back to hearty meals, reading by the log fire if it was winter, and enormous spiders scuttling out of the woodwork (Sue had a good scream on her – and I wasn’t far behind!). And then we’d spend hours in stitches over games of illustrated ‘consequences’. If anyone has played this with Sue, they’ll know how funny it was.
When we both lived in London, there wasn’t a week that passed without our visiting each other’s homes – for tea, supper, to share books, play music, re-enact the past, or to just talk. When we went away to College and University and embarked on our separate careers, we saw less of each other. But when my parents moved to Cricklade in Wiltshire, the ‘country visits’ began again. Eventually, of course, Sue herself moved to Wiltshire, which enabled us to keep in touch more readily. And she was such a source of inspiration for my novel, published in 1996.
Latterly, we drifted - new interests in life, new circles of friends. But I saw her again during the last couple of months of her life, for which I am eternally grateful. As ever, she inspired with her faith, her strength and her joyousness – the old mischievous twinkle never left her eye!.
So many memories – too many to set down here."
"Sue and I met for the first time in the RUH in August 1983. We were both coming to terms with the shock of new motherhood, and for the next seven years we saw each other regularly. The house in Crown Court was always warm and welcoming, and Simon (too too bootiful to live) and Rosie (the Infant phenomenon) became friends, as we exchanged ideas and impressions of Dickens and Danton. In those days, when I couldn't drive, we would share the Tesco run in her little Renault 5, and we seemed to be laughing all the time. My children would tell me that if they hadn't had me, then Sue would have been their first choice as a mother.
Sue taught me about English Literature, and if next year I achieve my degree with the OU, it will be in some part because she showed me how to enjoy the subject, bringing the characters alive with her acting talents. She has been a wonderful friend, and I wish we could have seen each other again."
"TO THE FAMILY OF SUE LE BLOND
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the passing away of a loved on Sue.
Sue was somebody so special that can never be forgotten.
Sue was an amazing lovely person and I often think about all the tines we spent together.
Sue was such a pleasure to have around and I have learned so much from her and I will remember her always.
I had a blessed opportunity of knowing her, she treated me with respect and she made me feel loved.
Sue was open and always corrected me amicably whenever there was a problem.
I have learned life long lesson through her kindness and her memory lives in me forever.
Sue was an example for me to follow the way, she embraced life and consciously lived in her own motto “learning and doing something new everyday”
She lived a courageous life, doing things which most people in her condition could not do and she did it too well.
Today I am enriched by the way she touched my life.
The greatest compliment to someone who has passed is to live your life and keep their memory alive.
For me, Sue’s memory lives in me forever and I know Heaven just received one of the special Angels.
I am thinking of you, the family of Sue, I am wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain.
Remember that I love you and care about you.
You are always in my thoughts.
You are in my prayers at this trying time.
Be strong, God loves you all.
"'When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted.' Psalm 138. Sue was a feisty woman who dealt brilliantly with long and painful illness, supported by her God, her church and her family.The five of us were school friends, and remained friends through thick and thin for fifty years. We will miss her deeply."
"We met in our first tutorial at Sheffield University run by our tutor, Roma
Gill in October 1969. We always had lots to say to each other and we regularly used to eat lunch together in the Union. I remember the daily routine of salad followed by a shared Custard slice. I don't appear in Momma Told Me not to Come, but recognise most of the characters that do. I appear in her diaries, which she let me read the last time we met. She calls me Jane (Austen, of course, or is it Jane Bennett!) Sue had great sensitivity and creativity, and I used to love looking at her university notes illustrated with witty drawings. I enjoyed her wry humour and we laughed a lot. I was delighted when she moved to Bradford on Avon as it was within visiting distance of Bristol. At 50 she told me 'I wouldn't have done anything differently.' I was touched. And envious - a bit. I loved her passion for Victorian Literature and she got me excited about Hilary Mantel. Discussing the film An Education recently was such a pleasure as it felt we were on the same page.
What really impresses me was her extraordinary ability to accept with grace all the tough things that happened to her and to be so positive about each day and so appreciative of friendship."
"Susie P (Porter) as I knew you, so long ago, aged 9 or 10 at St Andrew's C of E Primary School. Sue would crawl across the back of the classroom floor to pass me notes, how our rather strict teacher never spotted her I don't know but the voice would always bellow ' What are you reading there at the back!!' I always got to cuddle her guinea pigs, read her stories she wrote way back then; listening to records in my front room. Then came different secondary schools and we lost touch as the years went by; browsing the net I thought I recognised the name; that was 2007, after all those years Sue was so delighted to hear from me and all I can say is she brought such happy memories to the surface and continually made me laugh by e mail with that wonderful quirky sense of humour never changed despite everything. Susie P you brightened my life, rest in peace, Magsie"
"As a LINK driver I have enjoyed Sue's company during many a journey when she needed driving to various medical appointments. She was one of a kind and I shall always remember her fondly for her wit, quirky sense of humour, her forthrightness, and her love of Jane Austen. We had many a laugh and we sang together during our journeys. She would bring her CD’s of 50’s and 60’s songs to which we both knew the words and sang out loud. But I knew how much pain she had to put up with due to her various ailments and I admired her for her courage and the way she coped at home.
I have her books in which she very kindly wrote some lovely messages to me, and I will always cherish these and the memories of our journeys together. May you rest in peace Sue and hope you find Jane where you are!"
"Sue died peacefully, receiving prayer right up to the last moment.
She was an inspiration. She was a fighter, she was determined not to give in to the medical conditions that invaded her body. She proved medical prognosis wrong over and over again. She was feisty. She was also great fun to be with, with no shortage of comic or theatrical characters to bring into play as we talked.
Sue’s faith was rock-solid. She looked for and found God in the midst of what she had to endure; and her ability to praise Him in those situations was quite inspirational.
She is now in a better place. She isn’t sick any more, she has no more pain, she has a new and perfect body – a resurrection body. She is in heaven with our Lord Jesus. She often said with a chuckle of anticipation, ‘the best is yet to come’."
"I knew Sue from Scribblers so appreciated her talents as a writer. I loved her work and she was very gifted and I felt her work should have been more widely recognised. I went to see her just before she died and showed her my pictures of walking the Camino. We had a lovely afternoon. She was a formidable lady and fought her illness bravely and with a good sense of humour. She will be sadly missed."
"Good night, sweet friend,
And flights of angels sing thee to they rest!
We will miss you very much, but your courage, humour and words will live on."
"Sue would love this, Josie and Simon. Well done for setting it up. Seeing the Tennyson poem above was affecting - she read it out to me only two weeks ago. I will miss Sue so much. I will leave some more considered thoughts later on."
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