I received this email just a short while ago. Anna was such a ray of sunshine I thought I’d share it with you.
It is with much sorrow that I have to inform you that Anna passed away during the night. As most of you will know, Anna had been suffering from cancer for several years; however her condition had worsened since the summer and she died peacefully at home, having been cared for by her husband Kevin and with the support of both The Beacon and Community Health teams.
Anna was such a vibrant and happy person, with a hundred watt smile; she was determined to live life to the full. All Anna’s working life was connected with textiles, but it often surprises people to know that she had only been quilting for the last four years. Indeed, Anna thought quilters were ‘the saddest people’, but very soon she too was whipping scraps out of the basket and sewing them! Never a person to do anything by halves, Anna quickly enrolled onto the City & Guilds Certificate course with Janet Twinn in Dorking, before transferring to The Odiham Bridewell Centre course with Terry Donaldson and Hazel Ryder.
Whilst on her C&G Certificate course Anna used some of the design and techniques to produce a piece of work which she entered for The Sue Belton Award, offered by The Quilters’ Guild. However Anna’s cancer had returned and she needed further treatment at The Royal Marsden, London; it was whilst in the recovery room that Kevin was able to give her the news that she was a joint winner of the award. Anna completed her Certificate last Christmas and was enrolled once again with Janet Twinn, this time on the Diploma course.
One of the highlights of Anna’s quilting life was being selected, as one of nine, for the Further Education Gallery at the 2009 Festival of Quilts. Both Terry and I travelled up to the NEC with Anna and helped set up her exhibition space, which was exciting and fun for us all. One of my favourite memories of Anna will forever be the huge smile on her face as we went off to the Gala Award.
On one of my last visits to Anna I was able to take her the latest copy of ‘The Quilter’ magazine, which had a double page spread about her work. That was a big smile! Indeed, Anna’s smile is what you saw first when you met her and, despite everything, it was still there right to the end. And that is how I will always remember her – smiling.
Anna’s husband, Kevin has said ‘This might seem strange but Anna would have not wanted you to feel sad. Take the opportunity to celebrate Anna’s life by doing something nice, have a nice meal, or open a nice bottle of wine and celebrate her life, not her death. Try and remember Anna by her smile and her laugh and the things she did.’
I know many of you will want to have the opportunity to celebrate Anna’s life and to say a final good bye, so I will contact you later with further details.
Thank you for Anna.