photo: Pamela Austin
The funeral of Josephine Cooper, who died on 31 January aged 85, took place at All Saints’ church on 16 February. The church was full of beautiful daffodils, which were enjoyed by family and friends, and Wordsworth’s poem “Daffodils”, chosen by her daughter Nicky, was read by Josie’s granddaughter. Josie was buried in the churchyard with her husband Roy.
Josie was born in what is now London Docklands, but in 1933 it was the real thing, and the story was told of Josie climbing across the bowsprits of moored ships in the docks. During the Second World War, Josie and her siblings were evacuated, first to Brighton and then Guildford, but back in London after the war, Josie worked as a secretary, and met and married Roy.
Because of moves with Roy’s work, they moved to Peterborough, and Northern Ireland – a place all their children remember with great affection. For much of Josie’s life she was an enthusiastic member of the WI, and she made many friends, as well as being very popular herself. She enjoyed practising her crafting skills, and displaying her handiwork at meetings.
On moving to Norfolk, Josie and Roy first took up residence in Syderstone, but after a while decided that Stanhoe was where they wanted to live, and they bought the Old School House – formerly the residence of the head teacher of the school next door – where they lived until Josie finally left the village to live with her daughter near Rye. With a large extended family, she and Roy spent many long holidays overseas, in particular in South Africa and Australia.
Josie was fondly remembered in many tributes and memories, particularly for her love of music, dance, and of nature and the natural world, and for the laughter and happiness that surrounded her throughout her life.