Jean Humphreys

The following obituary by Bob Bryant and Sue Miller first appeared in the December 2000 issue of the Orwell Bulletin

Jean Humphreys, who died recently at the age of 86 after a long illness, came to Orwell with her husband Roy in 1987, having previously lived on the Astor Estate at Hatley St George where Roy had been a gardener for fifteen years. Prior to that they had lived near Farnham.

Jean held strong views and was very critical of the world around her, but underneath her somewhat severe exterior was a generous and kind person who gave considerable time and effort to enhancing the environment and the well-being of this village and its surrounding countryside. She and Roy were forever striving to keep Orwell tidy.   She was rarely seen without a black bag in one hand and a spiked stick in the other and she looked upon the emptying of overflowing litter bins and the clearing up of the Village Hall car park as her personal commitments. The Humphreys undertook the cleaning of the Church and the maintenance of the Churchyard for many years, quite independently of anyone else. In the interests of dog welfare any payment received for such work was donated towards the rental of the Glebe Field.

Jean was a good cook and throughout her life she had a passion for cooking and the distribution of cakes. There must be many in this village who have enjoyed her culinary skills, as any kindness she was shown was invariably reciprocated with the gift of a cake. She was also a prolific producer of cakes in support of animal welfare fund raising activities and Wood Green Animal Shelter benefitted greatly from her baking.

Dog welfare was one of Jean’s major passions. She loved her own dogs and took great pleasure in looking after those whose owners need to put them into respite care. She could often be seen walking the Clunch Pit with as many as seven dogs and, like all her other activities, this was a purely voluntary service, undertaken with the full knowledge of the RSPCA and Wood Green.

In modern parlance, Jean Humphreys could be considered as a ‘hands on’ person. She had no time for the Parish council or committees, but chose to leave them to the ‘hoi polloi’. She frequently said ‘the one above is looking after me. I don’t need the Parish Council as well.’   This was quite understandable since she was a very independent person and well able to make known her views, which were invariably strong, without holding or attending meetings.

Jean was quite a character.  In the short time she lived here she made an impact on the village and did a great deal to maintain its standards. She deserves to be remembered with gratitude.

This page was added by Pat Grigor on 19/11/2012.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.