A WOMAN from Weston Rhyn who planned to spend retirement with her husband aboard a converted Dutch barge, died after spending just two weeks on their new ‘live aboard’ Valentine moored on the River Medway near Rochester, Kent.
She lost her eight year battle against cancer just before Christmas with her husband, Chris, son, Ben, and daughter, Katherine, at her bedside at The Quinta, Weston Rhyn, where the couple had spent the past 26 years working for the international missionary organisation, Operation Mobilisation.
Chris said: “Jackie was so brave in battling against breast cancer for so long. We spent more than two years converting the old Dutch barge Valentine and had planned to spend our retirement on the French canals.
“We will miss Jackie dreadfully but as Christians we know she is now free from all suffering and with her Saviour whom she served so faithfully for 47 years. And I’m so pleased we were able to spend some time together on board Valentine, even if it was only two weeks.
“Also, it was lovely that Jackie was able to hold our first grandchild, two-week-old Eva Rose, before she passed away, when our son, Ben, and his wife came over from Switzerland,” he added.
A service of thanksgiving for Jackie’s life was held at Carreg Llwyd Church, Oswestry, which the couple attended since moving to the area. Among those who paid tribute to Jackie was George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation, who described her as “one of my heroes”.
Jackie attended art college at Gravesend, Kent after leaving school and trained as an haute couture milliner on New Bond Street, London. At 19 she went to work in Zurich for two years for the leading Swiss milliners, crafting hats that sold to places like Harrods for a 1,000 guineas.
It was after hearing evangelist Dr Billy Graham preach in London in 1967 that she went to study at Redcliffe Missionary Training College and then joined the regions Beyond Missionary Union to work in Peru.
Chris and Jackie were married in Peru and later joined Operation Mobilisation serving with an international crew on the organisation’s ships Logos and later the Doulos which had the largest floating book exhibition in the world and also carried emergency relief to areas which suffered after natural disasters.
They visited numerous countries in Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean Islands before moving to the The Quinta in late 1985.
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