Joan Margaret Colson 1930 – 2015

  Joan died on 27th April aged 84. Her funeral took place at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Belchamp Walter on 14th May and was conducted by Team Rector, Rev. Margaret King who gave the eulogy. The service included some of Joan’s favourite hymns and readings by Dr. Gerald Colson and Mrs Victoria Metson after which Joan was laid to rest in the churchyard.

Joan Colson (nee Stiff) was born in Sudbury and attended the High School. Tragedy struck her family when two of her three brothers were killed during the war, one in a Japanese prison camp and the other when his Wellington bomber crashed. Her father became inn keeper at the Bell in Hartest and Joan would play the piano to soldiers stationed at Chadacre. From the age of 16 she was organist at Hartest Church and this musical talent was to be fully used for the rest of her life. Marriage to Peter took place in Hartest in October 1953. As Peter’s career in farm management progressed they moved around from Tostock to Lamarsh – then to Little Henny and finally to Belchamp Walter. At all of these places Joan occupied the organ bench – and in the meantime children Christine and Roger appeared on the scene.

A total commitment to village life gained Joan many friends. She was, for many years , a staunch member of the Womens’ Institute holding various offices and helping to raise funds for the Community House at Belchamp St Paul. On the musical side there is probably not a church organ in the area with which Joan was not acquainted. She played at Borley, Pentlow, Liston, Belchamp Otten, Belchamp Walter and Foxearth and was ever willing to step into the breech to cover for colleagues -for which I shall always personally be grateful! Her last appearance was at Otten on Christmas Day 2014 when she was far from well but, in typical fashion, insisted on coming out rather than letting people down. The clergy – past and present – speak extremely highly of her absolute dependability and real care for them and the congregations.

Joan and Peter were familiar visitors to all the local coffee mornings, fetes etc. and this interested involvement in village activities earned her the love and respect that so many felt for her. She will be sadly missed and we offer to Peter, Roger and Sue, to grandchildren Victoria and Frances and great grandchildren Toby and Jack our most sincere condolences.

Ken Nice


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