Obituary: Sarah Jackson 14.3.47 – 19.1.15
Sarah Jackson was a well-known and much loved personality in Marlborough, having lived for almost twenty years in or near Marlborough.
She died on January 19th 2015 in Tasmania, Australia.
She was wife to Patrick (deceased), mother and mother in law to Olivia and Tom, Victoria and Guy, sister to Roger (deceased), Paul and Maria and grandmother to Islay, Charlie and Rosie.
Victoria and Guy are expecting twins very soon and Sarah knew of this happy expectation before she passed away.
Sarah set up the beautiful flower shop, called Primrose Lane, on the High Street soon after her arrival in 1995 and took over The Sun Inn for the last couple of years she lived here, with her husband Patrick.
She did much else in between, including a great deal of voluntary work, often to be found in the kitchen of the Jubilee Centre.
Sarah had an extraordinary international lifestyle, strength of character and totally engaging and gregarious personality.
She was born in Redhill Hospital, Middlesex England in 1947 and as a small infant she travelled by plane with her English mother Elsa to New York where her Norwegian father Eric Lind was to meet her for the first time.
The family then travelled to Central America to live on a remote coffee plantation in Guatemala where she and her sister had the freedom to run and play with local Guatemalans and speak naturally in Spanish as their first language.
When she was nine years old, Sarah found herself on a KLM Lockheed Constellation for a two-day flight via the Arctic Circle to an English boarding school at Godstowe, in High Wickham.
On her arrival she knew no one and had to quickly learn the skills she needed to survive and make friends in what was then, a foreign country to her.
This boarding school experience must have helped her in later life to generate her amazing networks of loyal friends in the UK, Sydney, the southern highlands and in Tasmania.
Sarah’s school holidays were mainly spent with relatives in Henley on Thames or Bergen in Norway with a once a year trip home to Guatemala.
With her English senior studies completed Sarah attended a finishing school in Marlow, acquiring all those aspects of social poise that would become her hallmark down the years.
During this time that she developed her strong affinity for England, its traditional lifestyle, its pubs, its high fashion and its Beatles inspired pop culture.
She was also able to share a trend setting London social life with her twin step-brothers Paul and Roger, both artists who regularly mixed with the “in-crowd”.
Sarah moved to Australia twice. The first time she came with her mother and her new English stepfather “Doc” Rylance, first class on the Achilli Laro and the second time, two years later in 1970, with her English husband to be Patrick, where they soon married and began their own family life.
It was after their daughters completed their schooling that Sarah felt the pull of England again, returning in 1995 with Victoria, whilst older sister Olivia embarked on her own travels.
Sarah and Patrick’s last assignment together of running a busy market town pub was the most testing of all for her. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, had had surgery and chemotherapy and then within five years took on the exhausting and relentless task of managing the hotel side, whilst Patrick, now unwell himself, ran the dining room.
In December 2012 Patrick lost his battle with cancer and in early 2013 Sarah sold the pub and visited Olivia and Tom, her grandchildren and Hobart friends for some well-earned down-time.
By the time she had arrived she was unwell and shortly afterwards underwent surgery for a brain tumour. Within a month there was a second surgery and again Sarah pulled through with an amazing display of courage and determination.
Recovering sufficiently to travel, she returned to England in October 2013 and settled in a cottage in a seaside suburb of Deal. The following year of convalescence further underlined the importance of family in Sarah’s life.
It was only possible with the continuing support of Victoria, her husband Guy, his parents who were close neighbours and her English cousin Jane.
The middle of 2014 saw indications of a return of the tumour and Sarah although unwell, elected to return to Hobart for treatment bravely undergoing a third round of surgery plus radiotherapy.
Sarah died peacefully and will be greatly missed, but also greatly celebrated by all her family both here and overseas and her many, many friends.
In Marlborough, we will not only remember Sarah for running successful businesses, but also for her capacity for volunteering and treating all with great kindness. The Jubilee Centre was one of her favourite places to use her skills, brightening up the day for staff and clients alike.
Sarah was unable to walk down Marlborough High Street without bumping into at least half a dozen people who knew her. Always smiling and always effervescent – Sarah simply brought sunshine into everyone’s lives.
- Friends and neighbours of Sarah would like to remember her in Marlborough – perhaps by planting a flowering tree with a small plaque, in Priory Gardens, if permission were to be given.
If you would like to contribute to such a living memorial, donations can be left at either David Dudley (Jewellers) or the Jubilee Centre.
Please put your donation in an envelope marked “In memory of Sarah Jackson”. Please make sure you put your name on the envelope so we can give the family a list of her many friends.
Should there be any excess funds we will split the donation between the Jubilee Centre and Prospect Hospice at Savernake, the hospice who gave such good care to Patrick in his final days and provided support for the family.