Reader letter: Funeral tribute to beloved Caroline

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Phil Stone, his family and the Rotary Club of Ilkeston would like to express thanks to all who attended the service at St Mary’s Church to commemorate the life of Carolyn Anne Stone on January 29.

The service was conducted by Rev. Paul Waters from St John’s Church, Nottingham Road.

While attendance cards were distributed in a packed church, not all were completed and Phil is therefore unable to thank everyone personally.

Carolyn had planned the service when she realised that her latest skirmish with cancer could not be won.

It started with a beautiful rendition of “Ave Maria” by Lily Taylor-Ward, an honorary member of the club.

Lily is a “graduate” of the Ilkeston’s Got Talent competition some years ago and is currently at university in London while also undertaking ongoing musical training with major show producers.

The pallbearers were family members and Rotarians and Phil says an enduring memory will be of the six burly men with not a dry eye among them.

The eulogy was given by son Bradley and a message from Carolyn was delivered by Terry Leivers, who had flown in from India the previous night.

The music played at the end of the service was a favourite of Carolyn’s and in line with her theme of happiness was “Bippity, Bobbity Boo” from Cinderella.

After a family cremation at Bramcote, Phil hosted an afternoon tea at Swancar Farm, Trowell.

Just one of Carolyn’s great successes was the promotion of co-operation and interaction with other Rotary clubs and the attendees were a tribute to her work, with district governors (current, past and future) present and representatives from over half of the clubs in the district, travelling from as far away as Newark, Bakewell, Drone Valley (near Sheffield) and Melbourne, with a host of clubs locally.

It would be impossible to itemise all the people and organisations which had benefitted from Carolyn’s involvement, but the impact of it was clearly demonstrated by the number attending the service.

One of her final wishes was for family flowers only, but if anyone wished to make a donation in lieu a giving page would give funds to Maggies, a cancer support facility at Nottingham City Hospital, which helped her throughout a long battle with the illness.

Phil Stone

Kilburn Drive, Ilkeston