Monica "Pat" Sibbons (1 Feb 1938 - 18 May 2022)

Donate in memory of
MonicaSt Christopher's Hospice

£830.00 + Gift Aid of £190.00
In partnership with

Funeral Service

Location
Beckenham Crematorium Elmers End Road Kent BR3 4TD
Date
10th Jun 2022
Time
4.15pm
Funeral Director
F.A. Albin & Sons

Cremation Details

Location
Beckenham Crematorium Elmers End Rd Beckenham BR3 4TD
Date
10th Jun 2022
Time
4.15pm

Funeral Reception

Location
West Beckenham Conservative Club1 Sidney RoadBeckenhamBR3 4PX
Date
10th Jun 2022
Time
5pm

In loving memory of Monica 'Pat' Sibbons who sadly passed away on 18th May 2022 after a series of illnesses impacted her mobility and strength. She was 84 years old. 'Pat' was married for 60 years to Ted, and has two daughters, Tricia and Jo-Ann.

Born in Belfast in 1938 she was the fourth child in the McCann family, and the first girl. In her teens she became the family caretaker to her younger siblings: Gerry, Tony, Pat, Seamus, Maura and Brendan.
Monica is survived by her husband, daughters, and siblings Robert, Seamus, Maura and Brendan. (Her elder brothers Frank and Billy, and younger brothers Gerry, Tony, and Pat pre-deceased her). Aged 12 she spent a year in an iron lung due to polio, where the doctors said she would never walk again. That experience stayed with her, and she hated hospitals and institutional care, though she spent plenty of time in them with Jo-Ann who was seriously ill as a young child, and then being a brilliant support to many young parents, friends and relations. She was a great believer in being with people when they were unwell and unafraid to make sure they were getting the right care. Pat was known for having a 'fighting spirit' and was a great advocate for speaking up when needed, and sometimes when not needed! She was brave and fearless and took no hostages with unfair rules, or any form of bullying or discrimination.

She moved to England after leaving school and secured work, sending home clothes and essentials for the family. She famously washed and ironed Cliff Richard's shirts for a season at a well known family holiday resort. Eventually she settled in South London with a fellow Irish girlfriend, and met Ted. It was Ted that 'christened' her 'Pat' which variously linked to other nicknames, not least 'Paddy', being Irish. Pat and Ted married in 1961 and moved for a while to Ted's family in West Ham when their first daughter Tricia was born in 1963, returning to South London when they found a flat of their own just off the Old Kent Road, where they lived until 1975 and where their second daughter Jo-Ann was born in 1966.

A working-mum, Pat juggled part-time jobs with caring for her girls and the regular 'troop' of brothers and sister and their friends and spouses, who were often at their south London flat. We met people from across the globe from Greenland to Hawaii, which gave us girls an early taste for travel, as well as our local community in Peckham through church and school. Everyone was welcome in our little flat with a secret bath, and endless supplies of sandwiches and tea for the guests! (Recently, post lockdown, we re-connected with our childhood butcher shop which is still in the same family in Peckham, much to Pat's amusement; and though Tricia's long-been vegetarian, her husband Douglas cooked up a mean roast-beef dinner for the rest of the family as soon as families could mix again). Mum worked hard and was fiercely independent about how she spent her wages - mostly it was on us girls until we were 'off her hands'. Christmas always promised lots and lots of parcels and she took delight in spoiling us, though she'd never admit it.

Our younger years were full of activities - Irish dancing feis' across London, visiting cousins, pantos, museums, cinema, swimming - Pat took her girls everywhere and was a passionate ballroom dancer (mostly jive!) which she passed on to us (yes ballroom dancing lessons as well as Irish dancing). We knew London's bus routes well and we were always on the move. Mum also loved shopping and often we'd get a taxi home after a 'big' afternoon in Oxford Street, sworn to secrecy about the price of our goodies when it came to answering Dad's questions. Mum said money was 'made round to go round', and she was generous to others beyond our doorstep, though she had a puritan streak as well and believed in 'hard work'. Pat and Ted had a good social life, although Pat never drank alcohol, so she always remembered the evenings' events better than those who had a sore head the next day! She had a long memory, and was an avid reader (Saturday bliss was the trip to the library for books). Pat was loyal, witty and sometimes painfully blunt! However, if you appreciated that mix, she was always in your corner when needed. Our babysitter's family became life long friends (Chris, Pammy, Kathy) and helped in recent years when extra hands were needed with Pat's immobility.

Moving from our little south London flat in 1975 took the family to Bermondsey to a bigger flat close to the river Thames. Pat was still working locally, and then applied to join the civil service - she joined HM Treasury and a new career began. Pat made a wide circle of new friends, but kept all her Peckham friends as well - at her 60th birthday party (a surprise event and, Pat said, the first birthday cake she'd ever had), guests straddled her earliest years of being a working-girl from Belfast (Edith) to the primary school mums (Angela, Joan, Josie) and working chums (Gloria, Kit, Jean and Marie). In her retirement she went alone to travel to New Zealand (visited an old family friend) and Australia, making a new friend, Maureen, from Scotland. They subsequently travelled together, with Ted, to many other lands, not least South Africa, where both her daughters lived for some time. Ted joined her in the civil service and when he retired they continued travelling, particularly with Ted's cousin Terry and wife Babs, including returning to Belfast for the first time in 30 years.

Tricia followed Pat into the Treasury and Jo followed Ted into the Foreign Office: so we became a family of civil servants for a while - much to everyone's amusement, Tricia then married a Treasury 'bod', and their wedding reception was a first for HMTreasury (after the wedding in St Martin in the Fields), which was essentially a second 'Sibbons' home by then! Pat was very sociable, and needed no excuse to go to the local social club dances, parties and celebrations where she always danced and was a popular dance partner for her whole life. She particularly loved the armed forces mess dinners where her brothers - serving Irish Guards at the time - always organised a special experience. Pat prioritised family and friends and spent many hours looking after the interests of her sister in law, Joyce, and made sure the whole family was involved in giving Joyce experiences she'd remember - mostly at musicals and entertaining holiday trips.

After Jo-Ann returned from an overseas assignment with the Foreign Office (FCO) she considered moving out of Bermondsey, and Pat and Ted's good friends Esther and Dave were delighted when Pat and Ted moved to Beckenham with Jo. For the first time Ted enjoyed a garden and Pat became an avid bird watcher, but not at the expense of an active social life! Pat also became 'adopted granny' to two boys - sons of Jo's friends Corinne and John, who all met in South Africa. Pat always looked forward to baby-sitting for Alex and Jamie and was the only one who Alex would allow to take him for his injections. When Alex was given a bravery award, she was as proud as any grandmother. Alex and Jamie visited Pat a week before she died - she was still teasing them and challenging them to get her out of the bed!

Pat spent more time in Northern Ireland with family and often taking friends with her and Ted, she spent hours on the family 'tree' and turned up long lost extended family members, reaching out to connect people and share her memories with younger relatives. Her brother Seamus returned to live in Belfast and Monica stayed with him often, where Ted enjoyed having a drinking partner and cooked breakfasts! Her sister Maura also retired to Belfast and hosted many of Monica's friends (and daughter) for weekend trips in her 'guest suite' at the retirement complex. Monica also had a 'second home' in Enniskillen with sister in law Ann and youngest brother, Brendan. Pat was an extreme fan of Brian Kennedy, a second cousin from her mother's side, whose talent gave her much joy - she travelled to see him across the UK and Ireland - her last 'gig' in north London in late 2019, where she had to climb stairs with crutches to see him - but she did it!

In April 2018, Pat managed a long weekend in a place still on her 'bucket list' - Paris, where she drank champagne at the Moulin Rouge, and lit candles in Notre Dame where the service in French reminded her of her Latin-speaking catholic church upbringing.

At a joint 80th birthday party in Belfast, July 2018, Pat and Ted were surprised to find a room full of family and friends at her favourite hotel where she returned many times to enjoy the town where she was born. Her sister Maura and brother Brendan sang for the gathering. Her good friend Esther got a marriage proposal from Dave at the party, and Pat missed it - she was mad about that! But she and Ted went to the wedding in Gretna Green, 10 months later, having mostly recovered from her first stroke.

She managed to get to the Edinburgh Tattoo and see her friend Maureen, despite mobility challenges. Pat's last holiday was local, at Hayling Island with Babs and Terry, (driven by neice Sharon), but she needed a wheel-chair, her illnesses resulting from the stroke beginning to impact what she could do independently. Pat hated lockdown and became a reluctant whatsapp and video-call user, when she couldn't arrange to get out to visit her friends. In 2021 she lost no time getting to visit friends after lockdown, again walking with a crutch or walker (fiercely determined to get out again), and pushing her willpower to its limit, ably supported by Gemma (amazing physio) and family.

Ted and Jo-Ann became Pat's carers for a number of years, with support from Tricia and Douglas, and supplemented by professional carers from January 2022. A last outing together in December 2021 was for their 60th wedding anniversary to a west-end theatre (wheelchair bound), followed by dinner and overnight at the One Aldwych Hotel on the Strand, where Pat drank champagne overlooking Waterloo Bridge with Ted at her side. Pat and Ted were thrilled with their message from the Queen for that milestone wedding anniversary.

After that Pat had a difficult time, and was taken into hospital for the last time on her 84th birthday, where she spent many weeks fighting off infection. She came home six weeks later having lost a lot of her strength but happy to be out of hospital. Friends and family visits cheered her up enormously. Pat died at home, in the early hours of the morning while sleeping peacefully, family close by, on 18 May 2022.

She will leave a significant gap in our lives which we've not yet comprehended. Thanks to everyone for visiting her, supplying flowers, chocolate and good cheer in her last weeks. We're grateful for all the care, not least from the doctors at Orpington Hospital, her GP, paramedics, carers and the St Christopher's Hospice team.

Pat's funeral service will take place on Friday 10th June at 4.15pm at Beckenham Crematorium on Elmers End Road, Kent. Everyone is welcome to attend - we invite you to wear colours to celebrate life, rather than black. Donations in lieu of flowers to St Christopher's Hospice, Bromley, Kent: Pat-Monica Sibbons (for reference).

There will be a chance to meet after the service at a local venue - see details in the box; (please let us know for catering purposes if you can join us - Josibbons@hotmail.co.uk or tricia.sibbons@gmail.com

If you'd like to join us virtually, you can watch online through this link and log in details:

Website: https://watch.obitus.com

Username: veko1796

Password: 091980

Brendan McCann donated £100 in memory of Monica

Never forgotten

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Kerry McComb donated £20 in memory of Monica

I have so many wonderful memories of Pat, everything from taking me uptown to do some shopping, taking me to work with her, going to see the trooping of the colour and of course the London Marathon where she would give me a Marathon (snickers bar) to eat when standing on a traffic pylon. She called me Kerry Anne when I was in trouble and had no problem telling me off.
I thank her for everything she taught me.
You will be missed.
Kerry Anne

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Ann McGrath lit a candle
Ann McGrath wrote

To a lovely lady RIEP love Ann & family xx

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Julie and Mark Wardle donated £15 in memory of Monica

In memory of Pat, sending our condolences to Jo and family x

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Hayley MacLennan donated in memory of Monica
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Lorraine Carney donated £30 in memory of Monica
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Hayley Greenslade wrote

Pat was always my verbal weighing scale, whenever I’d come up for a visit, I’d pop my head round the door to say hi, pat would reply with, ‘ooh you’ve lost some weight, or have you put on a bit?’….. couldn’t hide having had one too many takeaways from Pat 🙄. Jo and I would often go out for the night, believing we’d partied hard, however we’d always be home before Pat and Ted, clearly no one partied as hard as them. I spent many phone calls urging Jo to give her mum a treat, and when I’d visit, Pat and I took great delight in eating a sneaky bit of chocolate behind Jo’s back! I’ll miss Pat, I’ll miss her for her honesty, and her kindness, her sense of humour and her voice of reason. Rest up now Pat, I hope you’re enjoying a large slice of cake up there xxx

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Christine Barnes wrote

Pat, I will always remember how kind and welcoming you were to me, always smiling and laughing and so generous to Frankie.
You were so very kind to my mum, so caring and always there for her. Nothing was too much trouble.
Rest in peace Pat xxx

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Nicola Montebello wrote

What can I say.. what a lady.
I will treasure my memories of pat whether it be our chats or adventures on a Saturday afternoon sneaking to get doughnuts or simply sitting quiet while she fell asleep when having her hair done all those memories make me smile, the naughty monica or angelic pat all made up the lady you couldn’t help but love , i have so many lovely memories and will miss you so much and count my self lucky that i had the privilege of knowing you.. you sleep tight pat,heaven definitely gained a angel ❤️

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Nicola Montebello donated in memory of Monica

Was a pleasure to know you.. one in a million and you will be truly missed xx

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Gloria Henry wrote

Thinking of you my dear friend. Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. We cannot make more memories since you are no longer here; so, when someone speaks your name, it’s music to my ear. I hope you know our friendship meant the world to me.

You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. Although you left this earthly life to live in the skies, our friendship will never die. I just can’t believe you are gone. Thank you for the memories.

I’m so happy we had a video call a couple of weeks before you passed. You were such a kind, caring and loving friend with so much to give. Such a privilege to know you all these years. I will keep with me the good times we shared.

You brought a light into the world that even after you’ve gone, the light remains. I pray I see you on the other side.

God saw you getting tired, so he put his arms around you and whispered “come to me”. A golden heart stopped beating. He only take the best, so rest my friend, be at peace and let your soul fly free.

My condolences to the Sibbons family 🌹🌹🌹

Gloria Henry
(Jamaica)

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  • Thanks Gloria. Such a moving tribute. We'll be seeing you! Xx

    Posted by Tricia on 6/06/2022 Report abuse
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Tracey Carroll donated £40 in memory of Monica

Always remembered as a truly lovely lady. RIP

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Andrew Way donated £20 in memory of Monica

A wonderful lady, Wife & Mother. Who many years ago was a great friend & neighbour to my late parents Kath & Jack. I am so sorry our paths did not cross in the passing years and saddened to hear of the families loss. Andrew x x

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  • Thanks so much Andrew. We have such fond memories of Ethnard rd!

    Posted by Tricia on 6/06/2022 Report abuse
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Theresa Gecim donated £10 in memory of Monica

In memory of Jo’s mum, Monica

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Gemma Gibaud is attending the funeral
Di Goodall donated £30 in memory of Monica

Rest in Peace Pat. x

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Valerie Blake donated in memory of Monica
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Maureen Beale donated £30 in memory of Monica

Fond memories

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M-L Childs donated in memory of Monica

With deepest condolences to Jo and all the family.

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Helen De Gier donated £30 in memory of Monica

Amazing lady RIP Monica 💜

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Clive & Nichola Beeston donated £50 in memory of Monica
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Byron lit a candle
Corinne Plank donated £30 in memory of Monica

RIP Pat, keep shining ✨

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Corinne Plank lit a candle
Corinne Plank wrote

Pat really was one in a million and I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done without her when the boys were young, she helped us at the drop of a hat and especially when we came back from South Africa for Alex to have his operation at GOSH. Jo said, call my mum and she will do your washing..little did we know that she caused a security alert at the hotel when an ‘Irish lady’ left 2 unattended bags in reception which turned out to be our washing!
She didn’t change right up until the end and was really making us laugh when we saw her a few weeks ago.
RIP Pat, keep shining xxxx

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Gloria Henry lit a candle
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