HERE ARE A SELECTION OF MESSAGES AND MEMORIES FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
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Well where to start... I was lucky enough to be your grandchild and you taught and loved us a lot. I will always be grateful for being able to stay with you for a week every summer, weekends in the run up to Christmas and every Friday after school. In those times you taught me a lot, the beauty of a car picnic, to never take the food on the table for granted as well as to talk to “The big guy in the clouds” when I need too.
You were always the host of many family gatherings and the phrase the doors always open is something I believe you lived by, any one was welcome and they would be well fed (your sausage rolls will never be matched).
I will wear striped clothing with pride as you rightly said “stripes will never go out of fashion”.
I could write all day but in your jokey way you’d say this whole things crazy and you don’t deserve the fuss.... you do.
You told me that in the song Gloria by Andrea Bocelli the words were beautiful and I suppose at the time I dismissed it but looking back you were right, and it seems right to end this with something that I feel Bocelli was singing about you, as now
“ Like a million stars
You light up the sky
You are a miracle”
Now I’ll look to the stars and see you.
- Ruhi Cialis (Grandson)
Jean was my special friend. She was very kind to me looking after Wendy and Mark on occasions and numerous other kindnesses. I will miss her and think of her often. After all, fifty five years is a long time to have know a lovely friend like Jean.
- Doreen Collison (Life long friend)
I only met her once or twice very fleetingly, but she was a rock and a brilliant friend to my mother Gladys Day.
Transporting her to church on a Sunday from her new home at British Legion Village.
Mum had become unwell and was unable to run her home in Torbay, Devon and she moved close to us in Maidstone. Plan was for me to look after her. Sadly not long after she arrived my husband had a couple of strokes and I too became unwell. Jean befriended my Mum and helped her greatly introducing her to new friends and a new life in Kent. She was a selfless caring beautiful lady giving my Mum a new zest for life.
- Pam Barry
- Joshua Cialis (Grandson)
Jean has been my staunch friend throughout my forty plus years of living in the area. Her non-judgemental support has been invaluable. I have enjoyed her hospitality on many a Sunday. She has been unstinting in her friendship and didn't hesitate to offer me a place in her home for about a month when I was between houses.
I will hold Jean fondly in my memory and to say that she will be sorely missed is an understatement.
- Delphine (Friend)
Jean was always there on a Sunday morning, sitting behind me, in church. She would pass me a cough sweet if I started coughing or lend me her glasses when I had to read and forgot my own. She was such a kind and thoughtful person. Most of all, though, in her quiet reflective way she inspired and encouraged me in my faith.
I remember, especially, the quiet afternoons we spent in the Upper Room of the Sycamore Tree, where Jean, myself and one or two others, would sit quietly, listen to music and then a Bible passage, followed by a meditation on that passage. Jean was particularly good at leading these afternoons. They were such special times.
In my mind, Jean will always be there sitting behind me in church.
- Christine Malins
Pat, Jean and I go back a very long way, first meeting Jean in Sunday School at
The Tin Chapel, located in Shrubland Road, Dalston, in East London around 1945. In due time we became part of the youth fellowship, enjoying great fun together
- rambles around Epping Forest, socials, Christmas parties etc. etc. and all three of us aspired to becoming Cub Masters for a number of years, being known as
Baloo, Bagheera, and Shere Khan. We enjoyed a couple of holidays with others in the Youth Group, one at the Isle of Wight and another at Paignton and these happy years lasted until, engagements and marriages caused us and others of the group to move in different directions. However we remained good friends and,
for a good few years, managed to meet up at one or others home. This continued until our wonderful families came along and, as they grew, it was more difficult to arrange dates when everyone was free, so for a number of years phone calls had to suffice. Imagine life with no Whats App or Face Time!! However, annual meetings were resumed with the five original couples, after all getting together
at an old friend’s 90 th birthday celebration around 2005 - and we all recognized each other! It’s been a real joy to have had Jean and Bert as part of our circle and
we give thanks to God for bringing us together all those years ago.
- Pat Trasler and Olive Dent
It was a joy and privilege to spend time with Jean and Bert. They were kind and caring neighbours when we lived in Aylesford. After we left we have felt very grateful to Jean for keeping us in touch with news about Larkfield Church via ‘Alive’. We remember Jean with deep affection.
- Pauline and Alan Myers
I first met Jean 28 years ago when I transferred my membership from Union Street Church to Larkfield. She came to my house and gave me her telephone number in case I ever needed any help. Over the years, she has always been there at difficult times, especially three years ago when she helped me for several months. She even took over the Action for Children collecting boxes that year. When I became her pastoral visitor I spent many occasions with her, over cups of tea, learning about her family, of whom she was very proud. Over the last 18 months, I have felt privileged to visit her through her most difficult period in life, both at home and in hospital. I last saw Jean a few days before Christmas, and will hold that memory, and of other memories of this truly Christian lady who always put others first.
- Diane Dann
Jean will always be remembered by me as a lovely, caring, gentle and kind lady who was always ready to help others in need. Rest in peace, Jean,
My mum’s last few years were all the richer for knowing Jean and Bert. I have fond memories of visiting your church, the friendly people and caring community, which were every bit as a Christian community should be. I am lucky enough to belong to just such a caring church here, in Barnehurst – there is a ‘Jean’ in every such community I am sure, and each is as precious as a jewel. Go and shine with the stars, Jean, and enjoy your new situation, you are still here, held in everyone’s memories.
- Jan Leffew
Jean made me very welcome when I joined Larkfield Methodist Church about 1974.
We remained in touch when I moved to Essex in 1995 where Jean and Bert visited. Then they visited me when I moved back to Kent in 2018. They used to visit the Art Exhibition in the Tithe Barn in Lenham every year.
I found Jean a very kind, caring, helpful person, always ready to put her faith into practise. At the beginning of lockdown she sent me helpful words she had found.
She will be greatly missed and I am glad to have known her.
- Rhona Cole
Jean was our aunt. Both Jean and Bert, our mother’s brother, have been in our lives since our earliest memories. Since those early years our recollection of Jean was of a beautiful, calm, warm and generous person. We always felt very comfortable talking to her, and despite the passing of the years, this has never changed. Her kindness and generosity were obvious in her actions - she never forgot our birthdays or Christmas but also went on to remember the birthdays of Mike’s children. But Jean’s kindness was also present in how she viewed and dealt with others. After a conversation with Jean you would realise that she had always found the good in people, supported rather than criticised, never rushed to judge. And this rubbed off - Jean always left you feeling better, more positive about a situation.
With Covid dominating our lives at the moment nothing seems normal. However, as we do move back to normality, it seems impossible to imagine that Jean wont be at the next gathering of our families. She will be greatly missed.
- Mike and Christine. (Nephew and Niece)
Jean married Bert at around the same time as I married Bert’s sister, Millie. We then went on to have our families at roughly the same time. We both had three children, two girls and a boy. During our childrens’ childhood we would often meet up for Christmas, and other family occasions, birthdays, anniversaries and so on. On such occasions, I would look my dishevelled kids. The clothes that my wife had so lovingly ironed would now be hanging limp, half on, half off, as my children had rushed around the house, chasing the cat, the hamster or each other. And then I would look at Jean’s children - all neat, tidy and orderly and think how does she do it?! But then again, Jean always kept her home beautifully - it was just how she was. Jean was a capable, calm and kind woman, and never seemed overawed by what life threw at her. As the years have gone by, we have not seen as much of each other as previously, but I have always known that when we did meet, Jean would be unchanged, dependable and kind to the last. Her loss will be felt by us all.
- Michael. (Brother in law)
My lovely sister Jean was a very special person, always ready to help but
never wanting attention, kind and loving in a quiet and supportive way. She
was my big sister in childhood always calm and protective, the sensible
& "organised’ to my "scatty"! She always completed every task neatly and
perfectly. When she started work in the City Jean would often bring me home
a special gift maybe a lipstick or eye pencil - as a young teenager this was a
special kind of generosity.
We lived for a long time at different ends of the country but I am so
grateful for the past few years when we could share time together and I
could really appreciate her love not only within our family but further out
towards anyone needing help.
It will take some time before I realize the enormity of what has happened
but for now, I am pleased she is resting at peace after, as always, a job well
done. Miss you Sis.
- Anne. (Sister)
We have very happy memories of Jean spanning many years, starting with her welcome to us at Larkfield Methodist Church. There were happy evenings spent with Jean, Bert and family at Christmas and a day sharing in their family holiday in Hastings Old Town.
Jean was delighted to have passed her driving test and Peter remembers accepting her invitation to join her on her "inaugural motorway trip" to boost her confidence. Once she had her driving skills, she was always ready to offer a lift and no one need walk home!
Jean was an avid reader and a keen member of our Church Book Club. It was due to her meticulous record keeping over a number of years that we could always know what we had read and when!
We well remember Jean's care and selfless support of others, in particular her continued and devoted support of a number of elderly and vulnerable people in our community.
She will be greatly missed.
- Margaret and Peter
We have known Jean and Bert from when we joined Larkfield Methodist Church in 1972. Jean has been a good friend of ours, she was kind, caring and compassionate. We have fond memories of the many groups and events she was involved with especially Christian Aid week, the door to door collections and the anticipation at the gatherings for the count. Jean will always be with us as we try to continue the work she and Bert started all those years ago in the 1960’s. It has been a privilege to have known Jean and we will miss her.
- Gwen and Ian Bartley
I worked with Jean, for quite a few years, at Maidstone Police Station. Jean was a lovely lady, very kind, compassionate and caring with a strong faith. I considered her friend as well as a colleague. A few years ago, Albert Johnson and myself were invited to Sunday lunch with Jean and Bert and we spent a very pleasant afternoon reminiscing on the times we worked together. Jean worked hard in all aspects of her life, including Christmas when she, and her family, gave their time to help the homeless. Jean was loved by many, many people.
Though rather distant relatives, we share the Cialis family’s sadness of Jean’s passing.
Had we only lived a little closer, we know we’d have enjoyed our common interest.
Sadly, we were rarely to meet. Except for that delightful day when Elly and Mike were wed,
(Wee Scarlett stealing the show as bridesmaid)
But we’ll certainly miss the very warm email relationship we had with Jean in recent months.
We both know about the void you now face—it’s far from unfamiliar to us.
We can only send you—every one, our love and our understanding.
- Alan and Maggie Brooking.
We have had the privilege of living next door to Jean and Bert for nearly two decades and quite simply you couldn’t ask for better neighbours.
From the start Jean showed us warmth and kindness. When our youngest daughter was born, she unexpectedly arrived at our back door with gifts for the baby and her big sister too. A few years later, when she saw me carrying one of the girls who was poorly into the house, she knocked on the door and offered me help with shopping or going to the chemist. Her thoughtfulness and generosity was greatly appreciated more than she realised. Jean even rescued our dog on one occasion when Paul accidentally locked her out of the back garden.
Jean always struck us as a very gentle, calm and unassuming person who was quick to offer her support and yet expect nothing in return. Kindness is a quality that should never be underestimated as small acts can have such a lasting effect on others and Jean had this quality in abundance. We shall really miss her and will remember her with great affection.
Our lasting memory of Jean will be of her and Bert - out together for a stroll and always holding hands. Seeing them together always made us smile, as their care and love for each other was always so obvious.
- Justine and Paul
- Christine Hughes
My memories of Jean, Bert and family stem from the childhood of our children when we met socially in each other’s homes, and had outings to the sea and surrounding countryside, parks etc. squashed in our little VW beetle. One of the most memorable was our trip with Lynne to the ballet in London, where we met the principle ballerina, Margot Fonteyn backstage and obtained her autograph.
Jean was always so hospitable and kind towards neighbours, friends and very active in her local Methodist church in Larkfield. Chris (Sanger) and family, near neighbours on the tree estate recall the day they moved in and Jean’s kindness in bringing a tray of tea and biscuits.
She was a dedicated Christian and so welcoming in encouraging folk to link in with her church family. For many years, Jean and Bert organised house to house collections for the charity Christian Aid raising thousands of pounds for a very worthwhile cause. It became a community event, with members of Holy Trinity church and the Methodist church working hard and establishing a good rapport with each other.
Jean’s outreach was linked in recent years with ‘Praise before Lunch’ and various other events, bringing so many people together and communicating God’s love. As a result of Jean’s ministry of love, she became a blessing to so many people and she will always be remembered with much gratitude and affection.
With love to Bert and all the family
- Betty Brown
Jean your presence we miss
Your memory we treasure
Knowing you as a kind and thoughtful friend
Forgetting you never
- Margaret Birch
I met Jean and Bert when I joined them for the Lent Course in their home in Blackthorn which I found welcoming and encouraging. I also worked as a Sunday School teacher under Jean’s leadership. At one time Jean gave me lifts to Maidstone when I was teaching at Southborough School. Jean was quietly positive and supportive in all she did. I thank God for Jean.
Jean, together with Bert, was the hub of the Cialis family.
While everything was going on around her she would be the rock-steady pillar at the center.
Never over-emotional, never laying down the law, just quietly - almost serenely, looking out for her family. While we were all busy dealing with life's ups and downs, she remained the one constant.
Rarely considering herself, Jean was composed, patient and generous - always there for others.
And always there with another cup of tea.
Thank you Jean for welcoming me into your lovely family.
- Mike Brooking (Husband to Elly)
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to get to know Jean since I arrived as the minister of Larkfield & East Malling Methodist Church in September 2019. Sadly, Jean’s poor health meant she was unable to attend worship at church as often as she’d have liked - but on the occasions when she and Bert were able to join us at a service, the delight among her many, many friends at church was evident. She was a superb pastoral visitor - whenever I visited Jean at home, I inevitably left feeling as if I had received more than I had given. Jean was always keen to turn the conversation around to me (especially once I found out I was pregnant) and to make sure I was taking good care of myself. Even when Jean was unable to get to church, she was in constant conversation with God at home - her unwavering faith was an inspiration to me, and a source of great joy and peace to Jean. She will be greatly missed by all those who have benefitted from her kind and generous spirit. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
- Naomi Oates
I have treasured and affectionate memories of Jean. She was always so encouraging, and in her own quiet, undemanding way, led me to some quite demanding challenges, showing more confidence in me than I had in myself. As she led me towards Junior Church teaching in Larkfield, and then the leadership, and later encouraging me on the way to preaching, I always valued her support and feedback. Her tireless work, alongside Bert, for Christian Aid week house-to-house collections over many, many years, was invaluable for the charity and she was responsible for the collection of thousand of pounds around Larkfield. She supported St Martin’s Home for many years, quietly and often without being noticed, making every resident feel valued. Again with Bert she regularly led worship there which was so much appreciated. Her Christian example was outstanding, but she was always so modest and would have hated reading lots of amazing things about herself!
Praise before Lunch was a wonderful outreach initiative of hers, a Fresh Expression of worship, long before the term was invented. She liked to worship in informal ways, supporting with Café worship and Messy Church whenever she could. She loved to help in practical ways, in the kitchen and clearing up. Rob always appreciated her support of his music and organ playing.
We will miss her so much.
Living in Larkfield I had the honour of knowing Jean as a kind and caring friend for many years. Bert and Jean always brought copies of the Alive magazine to me and my friend Iris, and Jean invited my husband Arthur and myself to Praise Before Lunch, which has been such a blessing since Arthur died. After seeing me on the Songs of Praise Zoom in September, Jean rang to check on how I was. We will miss you Jean. God Bless
- Margaret Holme
- Monica And Rob Wilding
I first met Jean at a family get together with Bert, Millie, Mick, my mother June and Gerry. It was a very warm and lovely event and not long after (if not on the actual day) I fell in love with Ray, subsequently marrying him and having Gabriel and Xavier.
Ray (Bertie's youngest brother) always spoke highly of Jean, with fondness and love.
Jean was an incredibly friendly, caring person who had extended this throughout her life to others within her family and social life. She offered herself providing love and support to others and that I am sure will be missed by so many.
Our thoughts are with everyone whose lives Jean touched, she will be resting peacefully and will always be in our thoughts.
We all send much love to you all and hope that we will be able to commemorate later in the year when times are more settled.
- Abby, Gabriel, Xavier and Jess Baker-Cialis
We have many treasured memories of Jean, together with all the family. Jean and Bert were such a support to David and myself, on coming to Larkfield when David became a minister in the circuit. We were getting used to life with a four-week-old baby and remember Jean's advice, having had three herself. Although we have moved a number of times since the 1980's we have always kept in touch. Her interest in our family remained, and was evident in her emails to us. She was a remarkable person, with many gifts shown in quiet ways, and faithful to her family and friends, and her Saviour. We will miss her.