Thursday, 21 September 2017

Lorna Cummings: November 30, 1958-November 11, 2015

Lorna Cummings: November 30, 1958-November 11, 2015

A YEAR has passed since the death of Lorna Cummings.

Lorna was born in Glasgow and spent a happy childhood with her parents, Jim and Alice, and three younger brothers, Colin, Graeme and Craig in Birmingham, Dorset and Leeds.

She then attended Manchester University to study drama and English.

Shortly after graduating she met her husband-to-be, Tony, a dentist working in Manchester.

They shared a love of skydiving, skiing and walking in the hills.

In 1983, after a season working in the ski resort Val d’Isere, they settled in Henley and Lorna took up a brief career as an English teacher.

An opportunity led to her switching jobs to that of a recruitment consultant at which she became very successful, setting up two of her own companies at different stages of her life.

Her contacts in the IT world led her to become involved in a number of different positions in management, primarily in the operations field.

She qualified as a life coach and became a regional manager for the government-sponsored Business Link group, providing support and development for small businesses.

She then was enticed back into the world of technology, working as operations director with a mobile phone data handling company. With her then colleague Mike Dunn, with whom she had previously been involved in the recruitment and IT business, she instigated another new start-up data company, Dakon, based in Reading.

Somewhere in among her busy business life she managed to produce two daughters, Chantal and Charlotte, now aged 25 and 22.

Her family remained the most important aspect of her life throughout and she was a devoted mother and wife.

She loved skiing with a passion but also enjoyed sailing (or at least being a passenger on board while the rest of the family did the hard work), spending holidays afloat in Greece, Scotland and the Caribbean.

Never being one to limit her ambitions, she also tried her hand at climbing, cycling, gliding, flying, snowboarding, diving and various other adventurous activities.

Numerous trips to the theatre to watch modern, old, comic or musical performances as well as modern dance kept her interest in drama alive.

She loved Henley for all of its charm and varied social life and found great relaxation and inspiration walking by the Thames.

Several years ago her dormant Christian faith was reawakened following an Alpha course at the Springwater Church in Peppard.

She quickly became an active member of the church and later moved to St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Shiplake.

While there, she joined the parish council and helped with the set-up and running of the Henley branch of the interdenominational Filling Station.

Her faith became an increasingly important part of her life and she encouraged others to discover this same faith for themselves.

On her return from a hiking trip to Bhutan she was diagnosed with cancer. She then began an incredible fight against the disease which she undertook with amazing bravery and with a very positive view on life. Her faith sustained her throughout her last two years and she bore the mental anguish and physical pain with great good humour and determination.

Her care at Kings, London Bridge and Princess Grace Hospitals was exemplary, in particular from the many nurses involved and she was given great support locally by the nurses from Sue Ryder in Nettlebed.

Many close friends were a great help to her and her family throughout her illness and we will be forever grateful for their support.

She finally succumbed with her family beside her on November 11, 2015.

She was buried at St Peter and St Paul’s Church on November 24 following a service led by Rev Pam Gordon.

The sermon was given by Rev Paul Bradish and extended readings by Rev Phil Cheale and a close friend, Ann Pawson.

Eulogies were read by Lorna’s business partner and close friend Mike Dunn and by Charlotte and Tony.

Many of the congregation, including work colleagues and friends from long ago, paid tribute to the positive effect she had on their careers and their lives and there can be no doubt that she left the world much richer for her presence.

l Tony Cummings asked that we print this obituary of his wife on the anniversary of her death as he missed the opportunity a year ago.

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