Sylvia Maureen Gorbutt (16 Aug 1930 - 15 May 2014)Share obituary on Facebook
Mum died peacefully at home on Thursday 15th May 2014, following the spread of cancer from her bowel. During the last days of her illness she was surrounded by her family and we would like to convey our sincerest thanks to all the agencies involved who supported mum in her wish to remain at home. These included: the district nurses at the Glasshouse Lane Medical Centre; Dr Kay & the other GPs at the Topsham Surgery; the carers from Partners in Care, Topsham; and the Marie Curie nurses who sat with mum at night. We could not have fulfilled Mum’s wishes without you all.
Mum was born and spent most of life in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. She was the youngest of four girls and most of her early memories involved the war and the impact this had on day to day family life, including a bomb which fell nearby and blew the windows of the house in. Her old school books show her love of drawing and I have uploaded some of her art work to share with you. There was no opportunity for mum to go to art college but in later life her creative side was developed in her love of baking and cake decorating. She made wedding cakes for family members and the silver jubilee union jack cake for the street party at Central Drive. She married dad, Eric, on 15th July 1950 and they were together for nearly 64 years. They had five children, Graham, Gillian, Julie (me), Keith & Peter and we all kept her busy for the next 40 years. Then came the grandchildren Rebecca, Philip, Peter, Matthew and last but by no means least our newest addition to the family, Iestyn.
She loved her soap operas, and I really do mean all of them, even the Australian ones, and Strictly Come Dancing. Watching sport was another passion and she would get so carried away with football matches that she genuinely thought she could influence the outcome of a game by shouting “Miss, Miss!” at the telly. She never gave up on this even with England’s record on penalties!! She was an avid Nottingham Forest fan and she certainly never forgave England for not appointing Brian Clough as an England Manager.
The other thing about mum I will always remember is how she loved a good, or for that matter a bad, joke and how well she could retell them. Something I certainly have never mastered. Here’s one of her favourites.
There was this zebra that had lived her entire life in a zoo and was getting on a bit so the zoo keeper decided as a treat that she could spend her final years on a farm. The zebra was so excited when she got to the farm to see all the space and all these strange animals. She saw a big fat brown thing and ran up to it all excited. “Hi! I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I’m a cow” said the cow
“Right, and what do you do?” asked the zebra
I make the milk for the farmer” said the cow
The zebra then saw this funny looking little white thing and ran over to it. “Hi, I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I’m a chicken” said the chicken
“Oh right, what do you do?” asked the zebra
“I make eggs for the farmer” said the chicken
Then the zebra saw this very handsome animal that looked almost exactly like her but without the stripes. She ran over to it and said “Hi I’m a zebra, what are you?”
“I am a stallion” said the stallion
“Wow” said the zebra. “What do you do?”
“Take off your pyjamas sweetheart, and I’ll show you!!”
So laugh and cry and remember the good bits. Rest in peace mum and you will be forever in our memories.
Please enjoy the drawings and the pictures and if you would like to make a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care it would be much appreciated by all the family.
Julie Treleaven nee Gorbutt