Tribute to Exmouth’s much-loved Joy Jelfs

Joy Jelfs (centre) receiving her Pride of Devon award. Picture: Steve Jelfs

Joy Jelfs (centre) receiving her Pride of Devon award. Picture: Steve Jelfs - Credit: Steve Jelfs

A tribute has been paid to a well-known Exmothian.

Joy Jelfs, died at the Rroyal Devon and Eexeter hospital in Wonford following a short illness, at the age of 90.

A much-loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother she was born on July 25, 1930 in the Ashburton Arms in West Charleton near Kingsbridge in Devon, where her grandfather was licensee.

Her father was a naval officer and Joy lived in various places during her formative years, including Scotland, Ireland and Malta.

During the war years, she resided in Plymouth with her mother while her father was serving overseas.


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Upon leaving school she became a nurse at Freedom Fields hospital in Plymouth.

In the early fifties she met her husband, Bryan, a stalwart of the Devon Ambulance Service for many years.

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In 1952 they married, moving into one of the brand-new houses built by the council in Nelson Drive, Littleham.

During this time Joy had her three children; Steve, Chris and Bridget. A spokesman for her family said: “Joy was a loving mother and a very caring and giving woman.”

In addition to working part-time at Stoke Lyne hospital she spent many hours, over 50 years, working with various voluntary organisations.

From the Littleham Girl Guides and Littleham church, through the St John Ambulance, Casualties Union, Stroke club, the Exmouth hospital library, Victim Support, the Children’s Society and the Open Door project.

This service to volunteering was recognised in 2013 when she was awarded the Pride of Devon Award as volunteer of the year.

The family spokesman added: “With six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren she was greatly loved by everyone and has left a large void in her family and friends lives.”

The funeral will be held at Exeter crematorium on Monday, December 14 at 4.30pm.

Family flowers only with donations to St John Ambulance Brigade, Exmouth division, Hospicare at Dryden Road in Exeter and the Renal unit at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Heavitree.

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