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.
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