Death of Vanessa Lafaye - author & a founder of the Marlborough Community Choir

Written by Tony Millett on .

Vanessa Lafaye died on Wednesday (February 28) - her husband James was with her.  She had lived - and lived very fully - through long years with cancer.  She was 55.


Vanessa was well-known in Marlborough as the founder of the Marlborough Community Choir [see photo below], which started its rehearsals in a room at the Bear Hotel and then moved to St Peter's Church.  They have sung at the Jazz Festival and at many events in the town and in the surrounding area. 

A week before she died she had rehearsed with the Choir for their appearance at the Town Mayor's Civic Dinner.   She made it to the Dinner on Friday (February 22) to conduct the choir - from a wheelchair. 

Vanessa had blogged about her struggle with cancer - a very positive and carefully judged series of mini essays under the title Living while Dying.  One of the most poignant and honest - ‘What (Not) to Say' - can be read here.  

Vanessa Lafaye had published two successful novels - Summertime and At First Light.  Both books were historical novels set in Florida.

Last Friday Vanessa was re-tweeting the news that her new novella about Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly business partner, Jacob Marley, and his sister is to be published by Harper Collins. 

Two weeks ago she and her husband James had returned from 'a holiday of a lifetime' in New Zealand and Australia.  It was the subject of her final blog - No. 14 in the series:  'There and back Again'.

A member of the Marlborough Community Choir described Vanessa to  "What a fabulous lady! She knew how to live and she showed you how to die.  She set herself goalposts - like her recent holiday.  She got and gave great joy with her singing." 

The Marlborough Community Choir will meet as usual next Wednesday at St Peter's Church. 

In place of an Obituary we would urge you to read the biography she wrote herself - it is dated August 2017.


Photo below shows Vanesa Lafaye - centre - with members of the Marlborough Community Choir in St Peter's Church [Our thanks to Nicola Salt for this photo]


[Correction made after publication of this article about Vanessa's final blog]