Jo Corbin – Spaldwick’s oldest resident – died on 15th August 2012, at the age of 98. The photo shows Jo at the Spaldwick Jubilee Party – just before her 98th birthday. Jo lived in The Limes, High Street for the last 40 years but she was born in Leicestershire into a house with servants and a governess. Here are excerpts from a tribute to Jo from her son-in-law Tony Vernon.
Josephine Dorothy Stanhope was born at Alma House, Wibtoft in Leicestershire on 23 June 1914.
Jo never went to school. Jo always said she never took an exam in her life! After riding in the morning, there were lessons with a governess in the afternoon. Jo rode from an early age. She won many prizes at the Royal International Horse Show and other similar competitions. She went to Leicester College of Art to study textiles and canvas work.
In 1939, Jo played her part in the war effort by taking on three evacuees, aged between three and six, and by growing potatoes. Jo witnessed the bombing of Coventry in November 1940.
Her husband Tom died in 1990, but Jo never considered leaving Spaldwick. She continued to garden, to keep horses, dogs, cats, hens and sheep. She loved to get to know her six grandchildren, who often came to stay and, more recently, welcomed visits from their families and friends, particularly her nine great grandchildren.
Jo was always active, determined and adventurous. She had a warm and affectionate nature and enjoyed keeping up with friends of all ages (and they wanted to keep in touch with her).
When she broke her hip some five years ago, she was determined to get mobile again. She was a good driver and gave up driving most reluctantly at 97 – just after her driving licence had been renewed until age 100.
She continued to be mentally alert until the end. She thoroughly enjoyed the 2012 Olympic Games and was able to make comparisons with the 1948 games, which she had attended.
Her ability to stay in Spaldwick was only possible because of the support from her good friends in the village, including Romi Good, Jane Wiggins and Philip Johnson. In her last months, she much enjoyed the company of her regular team of morning and evening carers, who made it possible for Jo to live out her life here in Spaldwick.
Tony Vernon (Jo Corbin’s son-in-law)