Yesterday, 6th March 2020, Joe’s family hosted a wonderful afternoon of memories, tears and smiles, with well over a hundred people squeezing into the tranquil Woodland Hall at Green Acres Woodland Burial Park in Norwich. There was someone from every part of Joe Stirling’s long and remarkable life, family members of all generations, civic colleagues including the current Norwich Lord Mayor, Rabbis from the Norwich Synagogue, people from business, his former committees, Lions Club International, the travel industry and from the Nursing home where he ended his days. The humanist celebrant gave a wonderful summary of his life including a mention for Escaping Hitler, commenting on how much joy the experience of working on his life story had given to Joe in his final years.
The guests and well -wishers were invited back to the Sainsbury’s Centre at the University of East Anglia for a drink, a buffet and to share many memories of ‘knowing Joe Stirling’. The beautiful spray of yellow and white flowers, created by Elizabeth’s Florist of Unthank Road, that had graced the coffin, were brought into the hall where they took centre stage on the sumptuous buffet table. There were photos of Joe and his family on the walls and it was so good to become reacquainted with many people whom I had interviewed when researching Joe’s life. Joe was a special man and there are many who will miss his friendship.
Joe requested that instead of flowers, friends might like to contribute to one of his favourite international causes, UNICEF. If you would like to add your name please call Gordon Barber Funeral Home in Norwich on 01603 484308 and ask how you can help.