Eulogy for Anne (10th April 1957 – 24th December 2012) by Guy Steven Needler
From the moment I met Anne, during an Aikido course in 1985 I knew we were to be together. Indeed I couldn’t take my eyes of her whilst practising with the other students! Six months after asking her to a “Diving Club” BBQ I asked her to marry me. In actual fact We/I had put a deposit on an engagement ring 4 months previously and I presented it to her on one knee on the canal bridge at Hopwood. She was so excited, as was I.
Anne was our home hunter and one night in 1987, at the Sugar Brooke pub after Aikido, I dashed over to the local phone box, no mobile telephones then!!! and asked her about the cottage she had seen in the paper, she was about to put an offer in, I asked her if she was sure and she said to me, “I love it, it can’t get any cottager”. We bought Milestone Cottage in 1987 with a bridging loan (which we could only afford for 1 month!) and thankfully completed the purchase 1 day after the loan dead-line of affordability. Anne loved Milestone Cottage and called it her only home, never wanting to move. I remember having to repair the roof the day after we got the keys, 5 slates were needed! The next 6 years were a killer with the interest rate soaring to 15% and our combined salaries just keeping up.
We worked on though, building a front porch and a garage and enough internal decoration to make the cottage liveable with the help of my father and a couple of short term loans. Later with a small inheritance from Anne’s grandmother we built an extension upstairs and gained an additional bedroom and a full sized bathroom. We installed an AGA in 1992. 1999 saw the last room re-decorated and LPG Central heating installed with the final touch, a rear Porch, being installed in 2003. IN Milestone Cottage Anne was in heaven.
Outside of home life Anne had a great affinity for the city of Birmingham, specifically adoring its University and multicultural roots, and very much felt the need to give something back the city that had, in her mind, given her everything she had. Her desire to pay something back resulted in the creation of the Friends of Birmingham Society, and, helped with co-founders, Prof Carl Chinn, Jane Barlow and Barbara Scott, the FoB held their first multicultural concert in the Birmingham Symphony Hall in 2002. Anne raised over £38k over 10 years to support these events. The last one being in 2011. In 2005 the FoB gained charity status and was awarded the rather rare number of 1110444.
Anne was also an adept scientist and gained her PHD in 1991. She was at the forefront of what was then a new piece of research, to investigate the functions of cell apoptosis, programmed cell death. Scientists do not have it easy though, and funding for grant based research was starting to get difficult, and in 1996 Anne travelled to Chicago for three months to keep working. Indeed, Anne never really gained a full grant from that date, and such was the nature of her resolve and excellent work, that she managed to continue to find work in Birmingham University on the residuals from other grants to the date of her (forced) retirement in 2008. Anne authored over 30 papers in her career.
Anne loved travelling and we had holidays all over Europe, America, the Far East, China, Japan and Australia. We enjoyed Aikido, Skiing, Diving, Cycling and other Activity holidays. This didn’t include the visits to other cities resulting from University seminars or our city breaks. She really loved the theatre and enjoyed seeing RSC plays at Stratford and going to the Ballet with her friend Barbara. She especially loved Christmas and seeing the nutcracker Ballet with her God daughter.
In the early 1990’s however, we fell into a routine of going to The Marina del Este – Almunecar, Spain from 1991 to 2001 having many skiing (Sierra Nevada) and diving holidays as a result. Indeed, we wanted to buy a villa in Spain but it was just too expensive. However, on the flight back from a holiday in spring 2001 Anne saw an article stating that old properties in Crete were still CHEEP and so Anne went to Crete to check out a few “plots” in July 2001.
In October 2001 we bought a derelict property at the very edge of the village of Voulismeni and in 2002/3 we had it renovated. Anne was enchanted by it and the nature around it. She called it her “secret garden”. The garden was, in-fact, part of the local mountain and Pine Martins, Owls, Bats, Praying Mantis, and Scorpions to name but a few animals and insects we saw there, not to mention “her” ferrule cats.
Anne shared my appreciation of old British sports cars, specifically MG’s and in 2004 we drove a MG BGT I re-built to Crete – It’s still there and works perfectly. It’s our car in Crete!!
Anne practised Aikido with a passion for 31 years , gaining second dan along the way, loving the community spirit surrounding national and international Aikido, seeing and wanting to take part in the work surrounding our governing body, the UKA (she was a past newsletter editor) and the Joint Aikikai Council (she had planned to be the treasurer). She very much believed that we should all be one, a theme that permeates through our spiritual work.
Anne was and is ! an integral part of the workshops relating to my books, travelling with me during my attendance at the Ozark Mountain Publishing Transformation conferences in 2011 & 2012, the US tour and the New Earth Cruise in 2012. She has seen the work go from strength to strength and was both amazed and proud of the interest, whilst also providing essential support. She graduated as a Level 3 Student in November this year.
In September 2003 however, Anne had a seizure, which was later diagnosed as being the result of a rather rare and diffuse brain tumour, a biopsy in January 2004 proving its morphology as being poly clonal, with one of the cell types being potentially aggressive.
January 2007 saw a de-bulking operation removing a very large area of the tumour. Anne, in typical style undertook this operation fully conscious, only taking a local anaesthetic. The surgeon, Professor Garth Cruikshank, was amazed at her resolve.
Daily life progressed and the tumour was monitored via MRI scan on a regular basis, but unfortunately the tumour was insidious and Anne suffered a major seizure and relapse in May 2009. After 2 months she was fully recovered but needed regular chemotherapy under the guidance of Dr David Spooner. The chemotherapy continued for 18 months and during the Christmas/New Year of 2010/2011, Anne, feeling OK took a therapy break. This break lasted through 2011 until she suffered another relapse in late December (2.5 years since the 2009 relapse). Recovering again she commenced therapy with a new series of drugs, one of which resulted in a reduction in liver function. This drug was removed from the regime during June 2012. Anne appeared to be OK though, and a scan in August showed some improvement.
However, just before and during the Ozark Mountain Publishing New Earth Cruise, where I was working together with Dolores Cannon, we noticed a few, but increasingly progressive signs that the tumour was having an influence again. The latest scan showed massive infestation of the area when the tumour was. It was a complete and aggressive change to its function resulting in Anne relapsing on 27th November 2012 and spending 3 weeks in hospital. Although Anne initially responded to treatment, she continued to relapse and on 18th December was admitted into a Hospice.
She finally lost the battle one half hour into Christmas Eve 2012 with me holding her hand.
Throughout this illness Anne was full of positive thoughts, actions and resolve, she was, and is, an inspiration as a result.
We were married for almost 25 years and had shared many wonderful experiences together. None the least, we both shared the recent excitement we felt over the gradual, but accelerating, world-wide interest in my channelled writing, which was “our” work – we were, it seemed finally “on plan”.
Anne achieved much more than one can expect in a single lifetime, indeed we often conjectured that she was living 2-3 lives simultaneously. It is perhaps because of this that I feel that she had achieved that which she was destined to do, she had done her job, and now it was time to leave, mission accomplished, the tumour being the way out.
I am eternally grateful for her love, help, support and advice, and bid her “adieu” until we meet again in the love of our creator.
My love is with her always.
Guy Steven Needler