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Independent Funeral Directors
Serving Dorset for over 100 years

Barbara Mary Leigh

1935 - 2023

Barbara passed away peacefully on Monday 2nd January 2023 at Denewood Care Home aged 87 years.

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  1. Dear Roland, Paul, Catherine and Jonathan, I was privileged to be part of Barbara’s life for the last seven years of her life on this earth. When I first met her in 2016, she welcomed me warmly into the Leigh family. I will always cherish her (and your) acceptance, kindness and impish sense of humour – her gift to me and her legacy to her beloved children. It must be so hard for you, Paul, Jonathan and Catherine, to go on without your mum, but she has made it possible by loving you well.

    To Roland, I am so sorry that you have lost your beloved partner and soul spirit. From the time I met you, your commitment and love for each other, your children and your grandchildren were an inpiration. May you be carried by an abundance of love and support.

    Zahn Leigh
  2. To my beloved Mummy,

    Thank you for being such a wonderful, caring and fiercely protective Mother. You cherished me, Paul and Jonathan more than than anything else in the world it seemed.

    I will love you all my life. I miss you already but will remember all the great memories we made throughout our lives

    Forever your loving daughter Catherine 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

    Catherine Divers
  3. To the Leigh family, Heaven has a new angel and we lost a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend and the best mother-in-law anyone could have dreamed of. I have so many wonderful memories of Barbara. Memories that I will always cherish. She was always there to help anyone who needed it; even if she had to fly across the pond to do so. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family. “Mom” I miss you already but your memory will stay with me forever. I love you all.

    Rosanne Leigh
  4. Roland, Paul, Catherine and Jonathan,
    Sincere condolences on the loss of your lovely wife and mother. We all have such fond memories of her and of the happy times we spent together as children before your move to South Africa. I will remember her warm, friendly chuckle, her gentle Nottingham accent and her love of little children.
    Roland and Barbara were our parents’ oldest and closest friends, so we must say thank you on their behalf for Barbara’s enduring friendship.
    With love,
    Karen, Neil and Andrea (and Harold and Winnie too)

    Karen Hodson
  5. Obituary, Barbara Mary Leigh

    Barbara Leigh, registered nurse, supermum, loyal wife, domestic goddess, speed queen and fearless fairground rider, died—family by her side—on 2nd January 2023 age 87 years, ten months and fifteen days.
    Barbara was born in London on 18th February 1935 to Georgina O’Neil. Tom and Barbara Gardner of Nottingham were the baby’s delighted adoptive parents. Barbara trained as a nurse at Park hospital, Manchester and met her future husband at a party, having arrived on the back of a motorcycle. Evidently, Roland was a better prospect than the fellow she had arrived with.
    Barbara and Roland married in Nottingham on 31st December 1959 and raised three children, Paul, Catherine and Jonathan. All three were born in The Barn, their home in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, so named after the qualifications of its owners—Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Registered Nurse (RN).
    Over the years, Barbara worked in childcare, as a midwife, a health visitor, and a school matron. Barbara was a strong advocate for her children—in matters of faith, in matters of education, and in matters of culture. She shepherded her young children to church each Sunday. She won over the dean for Catherine to switch from college to university after registration had closed. Barbara made sure that the school play, school orchestra, local pantos, and well-used library cards were all staples in the Leigh household.
    Although slow to anger and firm in her Catholic faith, an item of cutlery was once thrown at her erring husband. The fork was surely aimed to admonish rather than wound, for it failed to hit its mark. She had made her point, nonetheless.
    Never faint-hearted, Barbara enjoyed a turn of speed. No vehicle was exempt: the fairground dodgem and rocket, Jonathan’s ride-on lawnmower, Paul’s 4 litre Ford Falcon and, in later years, her mobility scooter, were all pushed to the limit. She treated the accelerator as an on-off switch, not a volume control. Barbara taught all her children to drive.
    Barbara and Roland spent 20 happy years in South Africa forging life-long friendships and happy memories. They cultivated somewhat restless progeny whose ambitions led them to pastures here and valleys there.
    In 1996, Roland and Barbara retired to Verwood, Dorset. Then, lo, in her sixties and fearing she might already be too late, Barbara sought out her birth mother. Keen detective work led Roland and Barbara to the market town of Athy in County Kildare and a cathartic reunion. Barbara’s mother, Georgina, by then in her late 80s, supplied an instant nestful of siblings. We are told that the apple had not fallen far from the tree—Barbara had inherited Georgina’s looks, sharp wit and life force.
    Two days after her and Roland’s 63rd wedding anniversary, Barbara died on 2nd January—in a remarkable serendipity—the same date as her own mother Georgina’s death fifteen years earlier. Barbara is survived by her husband, Roland, her 3 children, Paul, Jonathan and Catherine, 8 grandchildren, Mark, Claire, Jonathan, Matthew, Tom, Ciaran, Graham and Addison and 3 great grandchildren Bethany, Jake and Kamila.

  6. I met Barbara Mary for a very short time in 2008 Her warmth shone out as did her mischievous side like my mother in law Georgie She told me she was brought up by two wonderful people She loved Roland and her family deeply She also shared with me the excitement in her hairdressers when she told them that she was travelling to Ireland with her daughter for a special meeting with Georgie and her daughters The time I met her was short but it was a privilege My thoughts are with you as a family
    Geraldine (Nick’s wife)

    Geraldine Gillece

Service Details

Wednesday, January 11th 2023 - 14:30
St Anthony's R C Church, 8 Pinehurst Road, West Moors, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 0AP
AE Jolliffe & Son Funeral Directors
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