Sunday, December 18, 2016

Marjorie Helen (neé Joly) (1923-2016)

On July 9, 2016, Marjorie Drakeford (neé Joly) passed away peacefully in the United Kingdom. Born in Beirut, Mrs. Drakeford was the granddaughter of Ernest Joly (buried IV G 1), daughter of Kenneth Joly (buried IV H 2), and sister of John Joly (buried IV B 4). She was also the aunt of AACA president Harriet Joly. Ms. Drakeford took great interest in the history of the Anglo-American community in Beirut, independently publishing in 1997 All Saints' Church Beirut, Lebanon and the Community that Built it, which outlined the history of the All Saints' International Congregation, whose pastor sits on the Anglo-American Cemetery Association. A eulogy was given by her son David and is reproduced with permission below.

It is with great sadness that David Drakeford and Hil Piering announce the death, at 93, of their mother Marjorie Drakeford (Joly); daughter of Kenneth and Gertrude Joly, sister of John Joly and aunt to Susan, Harriet and Dominic Joly. Marjorie was born and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and by her own account it was an idyllic childhood. She attended school in England at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She spent the war years in Jerusalem where she met her husband and where David was born. Shortly before the end of the war she returned to England where Hilary was born and where she lived for the rest of her life mostly in two small villages, Elham in Kent and Brockhampton in Gloucestershire, where she was heavily involved in village life. The latter part of her life she lived in Cheltenham and was involved in the Citizens Advice Bureau as an advisor and tutor.

Hilary and David remember her as a devoted mother who was always there for us through some difficult times. We remember her as always able to laugh even when things got tough for her as they did on more than one occasion. She was devoted to her family and accepted Hilary’s spouses Richard and Scott and David’s wife Victoria, as well as grandchildren Sam and Wil’s wives Andrea and Lianne with love and affection. She was a devoted grandmother to four grandchildren, Sam, Wil, Katie and Andrew and great-grandmother to twin great-grandchildren, Rudy and Lux. Her love of family also extended to her extended family and she was able to provide a base in England for her brother and his family as well as cousins, aunts and uncles. Always a gifted story teller, in later life she became the documenter of both her mother’s and her father’s families of which she was intensely proud and  she wrote an extensive history of Henry Heald and Co, the family firm in Beirut.

She was a quietly and sincerely ethical person and had an integrity that ran to all things in her life and which arose in part from her Christian faith in all its love and simplicity. She was intensely interested in all the large variety of people she met in her extensive travels, back to the Middle East, to India, to the US and Europe and to Canada where her son and his family now live. This interest and concern for all peoples was evident in her relations with the carers, from many parts of the world, who looked after her with care in the last few years of her life, in a home in Cheltenham. Her children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren as well as family and many friends continued to visit her to the end of her remarkable life. 

She is greatly missed.

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