Obituaries

Jill Elizabeth Reeves

1960 - 2012

Jill was born on 4th November 1960 in St Albans, Hertfordshire. She learnt to ring as a teenager at St Leonard’s Sandridge taught, like so many others, by Geoff Dodds. It was at Sandridge that she met Robert Crocker, whom she married in Sandridge church in 1983. Jill and Robert then became members of the band at Kimpton. Jill and Robert had a son, Adam, who was born in 1990. Later, when Jill bought her own car, (which she was very proud of), she also became more independent and subsequently became a member of the band at Hertford, ringing at both All Saints and St Andrews. In 2010, Jill and Robert were divorced, and Jill found much happiness with Andrew Case in the last couple of years of her short life.

Jill wasn’t really a fan of peal ringing but managed to ring a total of 89 peals, the majority of which were between 1977 and 1988. Her first peal was rung at Sandridge on 22nd January 1977 of Plain Bob Minor conducted by Robert Crocker. The seven peals she rang since 1988 were for special occasions, notably Adam’s first peal and one for her 50th birthday, both rung at Lemsford. Her last peal was in November 2010 at her home tower of Hertford, St Andrew, which was rung by a local(ish) band and the first peal on the bells for 25 years. It was fitting that the five ringers who rang with her in her 50th birthday peal were joined by Robert and rang a peal at Sandridge on the morning of the Service of Thanksgiving for her life, conducted by her son, Adam.

She may not have enjoyed ringing peals, but she was a very loyal supporter of the towers she rang at, and was always keen to promote the more social aspects of ringing, including instigating the popular Hertford Holy Week Ringers Meal. The Hertford ringers said that they will ‘miss Jilly very much, especially on Sunday mornings when she was always bright, cheerful and the heart of the Hertford ringers’. She also enjoyed ringing with the Friday night quarter peal band at Great Amwell, which she always looked forward to at the end of a busy week at work. She was first in the queue to bag the Treble as she said "Fridays are for relaxing and not for learning methods!" Her pre-ringing clothing adjustment routine will also never be forgotten by the Friday Night Quarter Peal Band, as it was a constant source of fun for everyone including Jill. Ringing for her was about fellowship and friendship: an opportunity to be part of a team.

In her professional life, she started off working as a Nursery Nurse in Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at St Albans and later at Hemel Hempstead, where she changed to the night shift in order to be at home with Adam during the day when he was growing up. During her time at SCBU, she helped numerous premature babies start their lives. A trip to the supermarket was never complete without a mother, whose premature baby Jill had looked, after stopping to give her an update on how their baby (who was probably a fit and healthy teenager by that time!) were getting on. They never forgot the help and support she gave them. In 2001, she changed jobs and became a Community Nursery Nurse in Hatfield, supporting the Health Visiting Team. She was very popular in this role, and was especially proud of the mutual trust she built up with travellers on the sites she visited.

Towards the end of her life, Jill found much hapiness with her new partner, Andrew Case, and they spent two short but happy years together before Jill died suddenly and unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve 2012 of a brain haemorrhage, whilst staying with Andrew in Hampshire. She was only 52 years of age. There was a family cremation on Wednesday, 23rd January, followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at St Leonard’s Sandridge on Friday, 25th January. The church was packed, literally a case of standing room only, which just goes to show how many people loved Jill, and how many lives she touched.

ARC

See peal reports on p.160 and quarter peal reports on p.165

BB BellBoard
CC
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers