Tributes paid to 'always busy' former Telegraph employee Joan Leonard
TRIBUTES have been paid to a "talented and generous" Tetney woman and former Telegraph employee who has passed way, aged 64.
Joan Leonard – who worked at the Grimsby Telegraph for 32 years before retiring through ill health in 2012 – was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in December 2011.
She passed away in the Amethyst cancer ward at Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, on March 12.
Her sister Susan Stuart-Murray, from Grimsby, said: "Joan never once complained, even when she was really ill.
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"She was such a generous woman and we've found dozens of thank you cards in her house from people she helped or did kind things for."
Born in Grimsby, Joan attended Edward Street School and Grimsby Technical College, before working as an administrator for the Fish Merchants' Association on the docks.
She joined the Telegraph team as a receptionist and typist in 1979 and worked her way up to the role of circulation administrator.
Joan wed husband Roy in 1975 and they were happily married for 29 years until he passed away in 2004, after suffering a stroke.
Joan was well-known among colleagues, friends and family for her baking and used to make intricately-decorated celebration cakes for loved ones before her arthritis worsened.
She was a patron and adjudicator for Bradley Youth Festival and a former member of the parents and friends committee of Grimsby and Cleethorpes Youth Orchestra, where she was involved in fundraising and catering for events.
Her other hobbies included music, cross-stitch, card making and gardening.
Sister Elizabeth Balderson, from Grimsby, added: "She was such a talented lady and was always busy doing something.
"She also had a naughty sense of humour and was generous to everyone.
"She never had children of her own, but she loved little ones and was known as 'Auntie Joan' to her two nephews and many of her friends' children. She will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her."
Friends and colleagues at the Telegraph carried out a bake sale in aid of Comic Relief in Joan's memory.
Lisa Fox, Assistant Sales Relationship Manager, who worked alongside Joan for 12 years, said: "Joan, or Auntie Joan as she was affectionately known, was a respected and well-liked colleague and a great friend to many. She supported me and others throughout her career and will be sorely missed."
A funeral service will be held at Grimsby Crematorium on Monday, from 11.40am, led by Joan's friend, the Reverend Ian Walker.
Flowers can be sent to Kettles Funeral Directors, in Granville Street, Grimsby. Donations in Joan's memory can be made to the Amethyst cancer ward at Grimsby's hospital.