The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to all, for the prayers, support, comforting messages, calls, flowers and cards during this time of bereavement.
Please note that there is no set dress code for the service; do not feel obligated to wear black.
Please be aware that there are restrictions in place in the Dulwich Village area between 3pm and 4:30pm with no car travel permitted.
Following the service you are warmly invited to Alleyn’s Head Pub, Park Hall Road, London, SE21 8BW
Joan North was born in Camberwell in November 1926 and she lived most of her life in the
borough of her birth. She went to school in Adys Road, in East Dulwich, which is now St
John’s and St Clement’s school – the same school that her two grandsons would subsequently
attend fifty years later.
Born in the year of the General Strike, she was 10 years old when King Edward abdicated,
and just 12 when the Second World War broke out. Having been evacuated from London for
six months, when she came back she got her first job working at the Coop. She loved her
time there, she rose through the ranks over the years, and even met her husband, Jack, while
working there. Together, Jack and Joan had two daughters, Jacqueline and Janice, and they
were happily married for some 15 years.
Sadly, Joan was widowed when she was just 40, but she was a proud, practical and
resourceful woman who found a way to look after her family. When she retired, she had been
working at New Scotland Yard as a messenger in the Criminal Records Office and for
Special Branch – a job she especially enjoyed. After taking retirement, she took care of her
two grandsons, Ian and Daniel, taking them to and from school each day – a journey which
involved taking two buses each way – looking after them in the school holidays, and taking
them to clubs and other activities.
Once her grandchildren were a bit older and more independent, Joan joined the Lively Minds
Club, which was based at St Faith’s Church, Red Post Hill. This gave her a new lease of life
and in many respects this was the happiest time of her retirement. She enjoyed several
wonderful holidays and went on many excursions to interesting places. Joan also helped to
set up a tea shop which flourished; indeed, so successful was it that she would often be
introduced to visitors and speakers as ‘our wonderful tea lady’. Often, she would be so busy
in the tea shop, making money for the club, that she would miss the guest speakers.
Joan made friends at the Lively Minds Club and it was through some of these friends that she
was recommended for a place at the Edward Alleyn almshouses. She moved into the
almshouses in March 2008 and she lived there for over 14 years. Joan always liked travel,
especially to Europe, and in 2011 she finally got to cruise the Mediterranean. She loved every
minute of that holiday, especially the P&O ‘sailaways’ which were similar to the last night of
Joan remained in very good physical health until she was almost 90 years old and, despite
some lengthy spells in hospital over the last five years of her life, she remained sharp until
the end. She received wonderful care from the ladies at Carewatch and Nurse Claire in the
last two years of her life which was very much appreciated by Joan and her family.
Everyone who met Joan liked her. She was an old-fashioned lady in some ways but she loved
being with people and at times she had something of a puckish sense of humour. She could
get on well with people from all walks of life and she was always the first person to offer
help when it was needed. She appeared on stage when she was young and she had a lifelong
love of music. She also liked the theatre and eating out. Joan never lost her appetite and as
everyone who knew her can testify, she always liked her food hot, hot, hot!
Joan is survived by her two daughters, Jacqueline and Janice; three grandchildren, Ian, Daniel
and Grace; and seven great-grandchildren, Henrietta, Sam, Oscar, Jemima, Mabel, Aoife and
We will miss her very much but we celebrate her life and the joy that she brought to all our
lives. She was a remarkable, kind and selfless woman. To have known her is to have loved
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A selection of floral posies. Approximate sizes are:
A beautiful range of sympathy baskets. Approximate sizes include:
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Joan will be most gratefully received for the following charities:
London’s Air Ambulance