Obituary: Sarah Loxston

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Sarah Loxston

MORE than 200 people attended the funeral of primary school teacher, Sarah Loxston, at St George’s Church, Stamford, the Rev D Maylor officiating. Music was played by the worship team.

Sarah, of Pauley’s Court, Stamford, died at Peterborough City Hospital, aged 30.

Daughter of Paul and Jennifer Loxston, Sarah was born in Leicester and lived her first three years in Uppingham, Rutland, before moving with the family to Glinton, Peterborough. The family moved again after a year to Arnold, Nottingham, and nine months later they settled in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in 1985, when Sarah was four year’s old.

She attended Orchard Primary School in Kirkby. Reading before she started school, her love of reading grew and she was rarely seen without her head buried in a book. One of the last books she was reading is on her bedside table drying after she dropped it in the bath.

It was during her time at primary school that her love of music began. She had already started to play the recorder and read music, but she took up the violin. From the age of eight Sarah took up the piano after her Aunt Shirley kindly offered to pay for lessons. She joined the church choir in May 1988 aged seven, shortly followed by her sister Helen.

Sarah enjoyed her years at secondary school and attended Ashfield Comprehensive School in Kirkby, achieving 10 GCSEs seven of which were A*-A grades and four A levels. At Ashfield she played an active part in the life of the school, taking part in plays and concerts, being a school prefect and helping run the tuck shop. She was held in high regard by students and staff and in her final school report Mrs Dunn her tutor wrote, ‘Sarah continues to put her whole heart and sole into everything she does. In the tutor group she has been a constant help and support to me and her kindness to others knows no bounds.’

With encouragement from the music department she was introduced to the bassoon and went on to play in a number of different orchestras. While at school she was a member of Nottinghamshire Education Symphony Orchestra, and also as a Guide she joined the National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra, which met annually and performed in various locations, after a hard week of rehearsals and practice. In 1997, 1998 and 1999 Sarah played at Westminster Abbey in the Thinking Day Service. In 2000 the orchestra went on tour and performed in Prague. She had joined the Guiding organisation in 1988, as a Brownie and progressed to be a Guide and young leader at 1st Kirkby Guide Group, achieving the Baden Powell Award. Later in life she became a Tawny Owl at a Brownie group in Galgate, Lancashire and at 2nd Kirkby Brownies.

Sarah went on to study history at Lancaster University where she was awarded a BA honours degree. It is no surprise that while at university she became a member of ULMS the music society and in her second year became a committee member, helping to organise and run concerts and socials. Throughout her life Sarah has always made friends easily and maintained these friendships in later life. Lancaster was no exception as she regularly helped to organise reunions with university friends, including a trip to America.

After leaving Lancaster she went to Sheffield University where she was awarded an MA in Arts and Heritage Management and during this time played in the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra. She was also a musician in the band for the Matlock Gilbert and Sullivan Society. At this time Sarah helped her brother, Chris, with his GCSE music as he composed a piece for her to perform on the bassoon with five sharps, which he accompanied on the piano. They performed this together at a school music concert.

During the following four years she searched for a job in the arts and heritage field, while working in a variety of different positions. When working for Notts County Council in the early years, children and young people’s department, Sarah decided to go into teaching. She studied for a PGCE at York University. After this year she was offered a job at St George’s Primary School, Stamford as a year 1 teacher. She thoroughly enjoyed the job and the encouragement she was given.

She discovered at Stamford St George’s, a church where she felt at home. Sarah’s first word was ‘church’ and this was followed in her life by a strong Christian faith. She first attended church at the age of two weeks and once she could speak had to be taken out of a service for continually shouting ‘Amen’, in all the wrong places. She was confirmed in March 1996 at the age of 15.

While living in Lancaster she attended St Thomas Church and discovered modern worship music. She never looked back. At St Wilfrid’s in Kirkby, after returning from university she helped form the worship group, Touch Faith, and introduced modern worship music to the congregation. At St George’s Sarah found she could express her faith through her music. She also found that her knowledge of God’s Glory grew as her faith deepened.

Throughout her life and even during the last 11 months while she was living with cancer, Sarah had an exceptionally positive and bubbly personality. She packed into 30 years more than most people do that are lucky enough to live so much longer. She will be remembered as always having a smile on her face and having an enthusiasm for life which was contagious.

Family mourners included: Paul and Jennifer Loxston, Helen Loxston, Chris Loxston, Anthony Baker, Emma Taylor, Shirley and Mick Quinn, Mr and Mrs Panton (representing Ron and June), Julie and Jon Booth, Martin Booth, Anna Booth, Bob and Bunny Shallcross, James and Ada Shallcross, Derek Jones, Janet Ingram, Julie Booth and many friends and colleagues from primary school, secondary school, university, work colleagues, Guiding, St Wilfrid’s Church, Kirkby in Ashfield, and St George’s Church, Stamford.