Warm tributes paid to Joy Marks from Cocking

Cocking villager, the late Joy Marks with her granddaughter SUS-150324-102841001
Cocking villager, the late Joy Marks with her granddaughter SUS-150324-102841001
  • Joy Marks was an active member of the Cocking and Midhurst community
  • Family and friends paid warm tributes at a celebration of her life
  • Sculptor Philip Jackson among those remembering Joy

RENOWNED Midhurst sculptor Philip Jackson was among villagers who paid their respects to Joy Marks.

A familiar face around Cocking, Joy, of Manor Farm, passed away recently and residents and the farming community gathered to pay tribute to the woman who did so much for her community.

Joy and Aubrey Marks

Joy and Aubrey Marks

At a celebration of Joy’s life last week, Mr Jackson said: “It was an honour to be asked to say something about Joy.

“We all have one thing in common – we all loved her.”

Joy was an active member of the Midhurst and Bepton Women’s Institute and moved to Manor Farm in 1962 with her husband Aubrey, where the pair were well-respected members of the local farming community.

Mr Jackson added: “As a founder member of the Cocking book club Joy would, I’m sure, forgive me for making a literary comparison.

When HE Bates wrote The Darling Buds of May, I am sure he must have had Joy in mind

“The Darling Buds of May is a gentle story of happy, contented farming people living in a rural idyll with the central character surrounded by her large family overcoming life’s difficulties with cheerfulness, common sense, good humour and generous hospitality.

“When HE Bates wrote The Darling Buds of May, I am sure he must have had Joy in mind.

“She was pivotal to everything that went on in the village but did it with such kindness and goodwill that 
no-one refused or found excuses not to help.

“Joy was a wonderful, fun person with a kind and generous heart.

“She was well-named and we all miss her terribly.”

Many describe Joy as being ‘pivotal’ to village life.

Joy and Aubrey were even invited to the Queen’s garden party in recognition of their contribution to the local community.

Born and raised in Portsmouth, Joy moved to Midhurst in 1948 and became the manageress of the hair and beauty department in the Hendersons store.

It was in the Egmont Hotel days later that she met Aubrey Marks, and according to her family, it was ‘love at first sight’.

According to Keith Matthews, Joy’s son-in-law, the pair never left one another’s side for 67 years.

Joy leaves a large family including 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Mr Matthews added: “She will live on in them by the example she set.

“Joy was a name she lived up to.”

‘Joy of Life’, a poem written by Philip Marks

I have loved life since I was a young boy

It’s because I had a wonderful mum, Joy

There are memories of walking to school

On a misty morn catching web on sticks - what a jewel

We all walked the Downs in the Spring

I still see cowslips as a beautiful thing

When up there we explore the flowers

This we would have done for hours and hours

Did you hear about the swim to France

But I think the audience are led a dance

Mum made the quilts knit and then cast off

Joy loved the work to help the less well off

Always busy making crafts never the idle hand

helping round the farm helping us work the land

Getting parts for this and that every farm needs a gofer

Chichester again and here’s the right part no time to sit on the sofa

Let’s all go the Hamblin’s the farm by the Thickett

Invite all the family we can have a game of cricket

We stayed in bat until someone took a wicket

We played a while then had a picnic what a day just the ticket

When we worked up on the Downs our tea seemed a feast

Mum loved the Downs and did you know run West to East

A picnic past the furthest field we found wild strawberry

You all know this was possible because of dad Aubrey

The home of our youth it was a monastery

But I think our parents instil our honesty

Their marriage is more than 60 years

I am writing this still holding back the tears