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In Memoriam - Jill Jones (nee Williams)

Oswestry School and the Old Oswestrian society are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Jill Jones, nee Williams, on 4 May 2015 after a short illness.

Jill Irene Jones 002A local person from a local family, Jill started in Oswestry School at Bellan House in 1981 following her dad and brothers’ footsteps through the school. Jill left after completing her A-Levels in 1998. She was a bright pupil, accomplished in her subjects and excelling in English. She was extremely hardworking and conscientious at school, which was a trait she carried through her life.

After completing her A-levels, she went on to Bangor University to read Psychology and from there she worked in the personnel department at Northern Foods Minsterley, which she had originally started as a holiday job eventually becoming Asst Personnel Manager Jill spent many years there helping the site through turbulent times.

Outside of education and work Jill had a great love of travelling and animals (particularly cats) and her peers remember her as caring with always the time to listen to others.

Throughout her life Jill forged strong friendships, one particular lifelong friend from her school days said the following: “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature (Jane Austen). And Jill took the same attitude in her own life. She loved her friends and family deeply and selflessly.”

Mark, Jill’s husband, has set up a ‘Just Giving’ page to honour Jill’s wishes to give back to the charities and institutions that had helped her own fight. Sadly it is one challenge that she didn’t manage to take on, however through her friends, colleagues and generosity of the public we can start and finish what she wanted to do. If you wish to donate please follow the link http://bit.ly/1ciaSTT.

We here at Oswestry School and the Old Oswestrian society send our heartfelt condolences to Jill's husband, Mark and her parents Ray and Jen and their families.

We also thank Niall Lambkin, one of her former teachers, for the following words;
Death is inevitable, but in the mind of the young it is merely an abstraction. In the mind of the young life is something as good as eternal for its natural end is so far removed from the present moment it is of no concern. In the young there is only vitality and future prospects, untrammelled life, unfettered being, just the wash of free moving air. So when youthful life ends, unnaturally early, ripples of shock radiate and we ask the question: why? Epictetus emphasises death as inevitable, predictable and as ordinary as the cycle of birth, growth, decay and rebirth, witnessed throughout nature. So we come to terms with it and know there is urgency in discovering the nature of a good human life in the time prescribed. In the end what matters is how we struggle and how we experience our condition, thus a life well lived, short though it may be, is better by far than a long one poorly managed.

Although we are all deeply saddened by Jill’s premature death we can rejoice that she lived a good life. In this she fulfilled her potential to contribute to the great sum of love and well-being that surrounded her. She joined the school in 1989 and I remember her very clearly as what teachers would call a highly civilised and model pupil: intelligent, relatively quiet, thoughtful and obedient. Any rebellion or thoughts of revolution she kept carefully hidden behind a calm exterior and gentle smile that seemed constant. In fact I recall her smile as being characteristic of her and bearing witness to life being well lived. She was, I believe, a particularly well-grounded pupil who kept life in perspective and lived it honestly as it tossed her this way or that. And she took a genuinely deep interest in people and made it her business to get involved and support activities and initiatives. Perhaps it was to get a better insight into the human condition that she read for a degree in Psychology at Bangor, one of the best universities in the country for this discipline. It was an honour to have taught her and there is no doubt that as a most civilised pupil she brought joy to all her teachers. Her life made a significant difference to all with whom she came in contact and Oswestry School remembers her fondly.

Níall F. Lambkin