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Alan Greenwood & Sons pays tribute to Surrey funeral director

Independent family funeral directors Alan Greenwood and Sons has paid tribute to Sandra Linda Jeive, its principal and funeral director, who passed away recently.

Her funeral took place on 25 May 2019 at South West Middlesex Crematorium. The funeral cortege consisted of two hearses, one for the floral tributes, followed by eight limousines left from Sandy and Alan’s home at Mimbridge. The service was attended by over 250 mourners, friends, family, local dignitaries and colleagues from Alan Greenwood and Sons.

She lost her battle to lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2016.

Obituary:

Sandra Linda Jeive, was born on the 24th August 1944, in Bermondsey, south London the youngest daughter of Florence and Albert Bruton. Sadly her father a Sergeant Gunner in the Royal Air Force was killed on the night of the 3rd and 4th of May 1944 nearly four months before her birth, on the 24th August, when his aircraft a Handley Page Halifax bomber, serial MZ570 from 192 Squadron, crashed at La Ville-aux-Bois, France, whilst taking part in the raid on Mailly-Le-Camp, an operation which tragically saw some of the heaviest losses of aircrew during World War 2. Devastated by the loss of her husband Florence focused her energies on bringing up her two children, Sandy and her elder sister Marie. They were a very close and loving family, sharing many holidays and wonderful times together. By the 1960s Sandy had moved to Surbiton and had a family of her own, a son Michael to whom she passed on the ethics and values that her mother had installed in her. In recent years Sandy was able to research the circumstances of her father’s death and visit his final resting place, which gave her a sense of closure and was comforted by the fact that the local people still tended to a cared for his grave.

Sandy met Alan Greenwood in the 1980 and they went on to set up home together at the Mimbridge Garden Centre, Chobham. It was here that Sandy excelled herself by managing the garden centre and tea rooms.

When Alan started the funeral business Sandy was a pillar of support for the new venture and enthusiastically learned new skills from funeral arranging and floristry to embalming that enabled her to make a considerable contribution to the success of the company. As the business expanded Sandy became personally responsible for the layout and design of over 28 funeral homes across Surrey and south west London. She always set very high standards for herself and expected no less from her colleagues, she would always ensure that all funeral staff were smartly and correctly dressed with a sharp eye for detail, being a south London girl she had a keen eye for a properly conducted funeral and always liked to see at least one new funeral vehicle added to the fleet each year. These qualities made her very much loved and respected by all who knew her both professionally and socially.

The standards that Sandy set in those early days have become a tradition within the company, which to this day and over 20,000 funerals later prides itself on precise attention to detail, punctuality and customer satisfaction.

Both Sandy and Alan are keen supporters of local charities, being patrons of the Children with Special Needs Foundation, a charity that provides help and support for those in need in the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire area. It was at a charity function in 2016 that they were hosting at Mimbridge when Sandy first became aware that she was seriously ill, she was consequently diagnosed at St. Peter’s Hospital with lung cancer, which as a non-smoker came as an absolutely devastating blow.   

In the following three years she received excellent treatment from the NHS which both extend and improved the quality of her life. Sadly the treatment options ran out and she spent her last weeks in the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice until finally succumbing to the awful disease, throughout this whole time Sandy’s strong spirit and personality always shone through and she remained an inspiration to all who knew her.

Sandy’s Funeral took place at 11.00am on the 25th of May 2019 at South West Middlesex Crematorium, the funeral cortege consisting of two hearses, one for the floral tributes, followed by eight limousines left from Sandy and Alan’s home at Mimbridge. The service was attended by over 250 mourners, friends, family, local dignitaries and colleagues from Alan Greenwood and Sons all gathered together to pay their respects and say their final farewells to a much loved and highly respected lady.

 Michael Jeive, Sandy’s son, gave a moving tribute praising the love and support that she had given him as a mother and the very positive influence she had had in his life.

Lynne Finnerty, Sandy’s niece, spoke of the great memories she had of when they were young and some amusing anecdotes of family holidays in the 1960s. Then of the times she had spent with Sandy during her illness and finally being with her when the sad time came on the morning of Sunday 28th April 2019.

Gordon Paris MBE. JP. a long standing friend of Sandy and Alan spoke of Sandy’s commitment to the Children with Special Needs Foundation which included a donation of a 17 seater minibus to the charity from Alan Greenwood and Sons. He also recounted many amusing stories which reflected Sandy’s personality and great sense of humour.

The service was lead with dignity and reverence by the Reverend Tony Shutt of St Mary the Virgin Church at Send, himself a long standing friend of both Sandy and Alan.

The words spoken left all present with a great sense of emotion and a feeling of Sandy’s strong and caring personality, great sense of humour and zest for life.

A collection followed the service to raise funds for the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice where Sandy had spent the last weeks of her life and had received such excellent care. In appreciation of this Alan will be organising a classic car breakfast meeting at Mimbridge Garden Centre on the first Sunday of each month in Sandy’s Memory to raise funds for the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice.

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