TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Stamford town councillor who lost her battle with cancer on Saturday.
Jane Peckett died at Peterborough City Hospital, aged 62, surrounded by her family including husband Grahame.
Jane, who stepped down at the elections in May from her seat on Stamford Town Council, was diagnosed with myeloma - a cancer of the blood - three years ago, but it remained inactive until 18 months ago. She underwent treatment and in January this year, doctors told her she was in remission. But in September, the family received the devastating news that the cancer had returned.
Grahame, 65, who works as an agronomist said Jane fought the disease until the end.
He said: “She never gave in. She just kept fighting.
“It has been a big shock because it all happened so quickly.”
The couple met when Jane, originally from Peterborough, was at teacher training college in Bedford and Grahame was at agricultural college there in 1967.
When they were first married, they lived in Bourne, where Jane joined Bourne Tennis Club. She played for the club for more than 20 years and also played for Ketton, where Grahame is originally from.
The couple, who then moved to Tinwell Road, Stamford, had been married 38 years and have three sons, Richard, 24, Jon, 30, and Guy, 33.
Up until her retirement in 2009, Jane had worked as a PE teacher. She started her career at King’s Lynn High School and also worked at Stamford Exeter School. After having her sons, she worked part time at schools including Oundle School, Oakham School, Uppingham School and Stamford Endowed Schools and more recently at Stamford primaries Malcolm Sargent, St Augustine’s and St George’s.
Grahame said Jane joined the town council as the St Mary’s Ward representative because of her love of sport. She was co-opted onto the council in June 2006 and then went on to win a seat in the elections in 2007.
He said: “She was very public spirited and she always wanted to do something for other people. Her aim on the town council was to promote better sporting facilities for the town, which she was passionate about.
“When she played sport, she played to win. She used to analyse it and get really cross about it.
“She was so fit, a bundle of energy and she was always running about doing things. One of the worst things about her illness was losing that after being such an active person.”
Her son Guy, who lives in Stamford, said many people in the town would remember Jane for her teaching ability but he would remember her as a good mum.
He said: “She was very dedicated to what she believed in and to improving things for people. I think that is why she was such a good teacher. No matter what your ability at sport, she would always want you to achieve as much as you could.”
“I will remember her as a kind, caring and dedicated person, who had a sense of humour. She loved life and lived it to the full.”
Jane’s former colleagues on Stamford Town Council have also paid tribute to her.
Maureen Jalili became friends with Jane about seven years ago through the Grantham and Stamford Liberal Democrats group.
Coun Jalili said: “We were very close and it has been a very sad time.
“Jane was a very hard-working councillor, particularly through her interest in sports, and I think she will be very sadly missed.”
Mayor of Stamford John Binder said: “I know Jane has been very ill but it has still been a huge shock to the whole town council.
“She was a very good councillor and always gave good advice. She worked hard for the town and she will be missed not just by the town council but by the Liberal Democrats group.
“My condolences go to her family.”
The funeral will be held at All Saints Church in Stamford at 2pm on Wednesday, October 26, followed by a private cremation. Family flowers only and donations to Myeloma UK. Inquiries to R J Scholes Funeral Directors in Stamford on 01780 763092.