Eulogy – written and read by Jane Gray at her Funeral/ Mass June 2009

Dr Vivien Jane Margaret Lane – ‘ VJM’ as I often called you.

How can I summarize the life, accomplishments, and achievements, of such a remarkable lady as Vivien in just a few minutes like this?

I cannot do her the justice she truly deserves.

She touched the lives of so many people in so many diverse ways: whether it be as a Friend, Teacher, Medic, Therapist, Colleague, Fellow Track judge/Referee.

Whatever she committed herself to do, she did so with total conviction, determination, dedication, and total professionalism.

Much and many of her achievements she ’hid under a bushel’ and for those of you who didn’t have a total picture I should like to relay/touch on a few during the next few minutes, Firstly…..

Her list of professional qualifications total 24! I shall not list then all but they include:

  • Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
  • Diploma Sports Medicine
  • Advanced Reflexology
  • Tennis Umpire

Vivien had a notorious reputation attached to her posting at Air Base Brise Norton: I will give you an example:

Apparently the longest queue in the waiting area outside a group of medical consulting rooms, was always Vivien’s. There was many a plaintive sigh of ‘My goodness, she’s thorough!’ to be heard from the existing personnel exiting from her particular consulting room!

It wasn’t long before her reputation travelled to the ‘ears’ of those in command and upon a return of duty she was given the posting ‘Senior Medical Officer’.

Some periods of her RAF career involved looking after personnel during the Gulf War, and many of you are aware it was after these events she suffered numerous and several serious illnesses, which ultimately meant she had to give up full time work as a Medic.

Nevertheless she kept up-to-speed with all things medical, but increasingly became interested in Complementary/Alternative Therapies – and in true Vivien style studied hard and became fully competent and practised in areas such as Reki/Aromatherapy/ Reflexology up to last year. This she thoroughly enjoyed and met some of you here: Ann W, and other lovely people whom became her friends.

She had always maintained had a keen interest in sport, which featured strongly throughout her life (even after being struck by lightning in 2002!) becoming a senior Track official/ judge, and held this post at several major athletic sporting events round the UK. With the help of Peter and Cath (fellow judges/referees) she managed to keep this going until late 2008.

Latterly since being first diagnosed in 2002 with cancer, she became involved in the  Cancer Research Panel and regularly attended its Annual Conference, thereafter reporting in her summaries back to the Group.

Being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine was helpful when gleaning further information regarding Cancer Projects nationally and internationally. Thereafter she was elected as the Vice Chair in April 2008, and earlier this year she was approached to deliver a workshop session in London as part of the Cancer Research Roadshows across the UK.

Her Parents: Ernest & Irene were a strong influence and she was a dedicated, loving daughter. As other family here – Tracey, Ian Jack & Alice – will testify. They were very much, as we say ’of the old school type and values’, which shone through Vivien in her politeness and honesty – and although sometimes her honesty was, shall we say ‘a tad brutal’, these were also admirable qualities that she had.

I think Ann Toy recalls when she first met Vivien while she was recovering from a back injury – all the other nurses were ‘a bit scared of the medic’, but as we all know it was because she was the ultimate professional – (clearly Ann wasn’t scared and became a lifelong friend).

In her home life she would be the first to admit that, after her mum passed away, she wasn’t a natural on the cooking front, many a time there was when lunch would be a tad ‘brown’ and either Vivien or her Dad discussing who was supposed to be watching the stove!

And as we all have our own particular way to do things (and Vivien’s was always Meticulous, Precise and Correct!), many of us will testify that she could certainly teach us all a thing or two about recycling… I mean, Cath F, I think you now have learnt the many uses for a lolly stick/plastic bag, margarine carton? Come to think of it she could have made a fortune writing a book on the subject of recycling for todays ‘credit crunch’ times .

Now, as for her sense of humour – as Linda put it so succinctly – it was ‘Fabulously Quirky’ and Ladies & Gentlemen here present – I would recommend you bear that very much in mind when we proceed to our next venue, in particular, when we exit the next venue!.*

Well, Vivien, whilst you were a very good listener, and I could go on, but you would just say ‘oh get on with it girl!’ We all know you didn’t like to blow your own trumpet, but I’m sure everyone here can and will do that for you when recalling the happy memories they have shared with you.

You were unique Vivien, and THANK YOU from all of us for enriching our lives. So, now you must go and do your job elsewhere…..

So God Speed, God Bless, and Rest In Peace, my Dearest Vivien.

Above * refers to the music played when exiting the crematorium’ which was …The Can Can! As well as wanting to visit Rome – which she did 2 mths before passing , she also wanted to go to Paris. Unfortunately she  became too ill to travel – so it was agreed that we would bring Paris to her in celebrating her life at her Funeral/ Wake!