My lovely sister, Alison by Vivi Steels

Posted on October 28, 2017 at 6:40 AM

My Tribute to My Lovely Sister, Alison read by me at her funeral on 24th October 2017

Alison was my lovely big older sister. When we were young she liked to look after me. She was always the well-behaved one & I was the naughty one. She did very well at school. When we moved to Woodthorpe in 1957, we attended Arno Vale Junior School and then Arnold High School where Alison became Head Girl. She also got a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Guiding.

‘Alison & I on holiday at Bexhill-on-Sea 1959' 

We had a lovely childhood in Woodthorpe with my mother, Marjorie and my father, Reg Gath. Behind our house on Coningsby Gardens East, across Melbury Road, there were the rolling, grassy hills of Breckhill Fields.  Now it is all built upon and called Longacre, but then it  was the ideal place to build dens, play cowboys and Indians, arrange sports and races, collect wild berries and wild flowers, toboggan down the snow-covered, steep tracks or feed the horses kept in one part of the fields.

Alison left Nottingham to go to a Teacher Training College in Manchester and became a Deputy Head Teacher in Domestic Science. Sadly my lovely father died from leukaemia in 1970.  Alison married Keith and had one son, Alexander, whom she loved very much. Unfortunately, the marriage broke down. Alison became very distressed and returned to Nottingham (after being in Australia for a year) where she stayed with my lovely mother, Marjorie. Ian and I saw a lot of her and also of Alexander then, when he came to stay in the holidays.

Eventually my mother had to move into a Warden-aided flat in 2000 & Alison went to a secure flat complex in Arnold. I sometimes bumped into her in Arnold and had a chat with her, but she never wanted to meet up. She became more and more reclusive and shunned contact with people she knew. This last year Alison became very ill and was in and out of hospital and she passed away on 7th October.

I am so sad at the death of my older sister, Alison, and always think of her with love & affection.  I am a Christian, albeit an unconventional one, but I firmly believe Alison is in Heaven with God and his Angels, surrounded by love and people who love her, being healed of her illnesses. I send her my love and prayers every day.


Years ago, when Alison was very upset and depressed, I sent her a card with a blessing inside, which she said comforted her very much. I ended my tribute to Alison with the same ancient Jewish Old Testament blessing,

“The Lord bless you & keep you,

The Lord make his face to shine upon you & be gracious unto you.

The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you,

And give you Peace.”

“Bless You, Alison.”

Vivien Steels 12.10.17


My Lovely Sister, Alison

1st January 1950 - 7th October 2017

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