The organiser of September's first ever Swindon Garden Show has died suddenly.
Even though the weather was not kind for the garden show at Stanton Park, organised to raise money for Age Concern, Jacquie Sheppard, 63, was far from downhearted and said that many lessons had been learned and she had lots of ideas for the next one. She is pictured right with Wanborough herb grower Peter Beale at the garden show on 6 September.
She had worked in the Zurich trust department for ten years and on retirement continued helping the NSPCC and Age Concern Swindon. A keen cyclist, with husband Mike she crossed the USA on bikes and cycled from Swindon to Barcelona.
Jacquie and Mike lived in Purton Stoke from 1977 before moving to southern France in 2005, from where she conceived the idea of a garden show and made several trips back to Swindon in the last year to organise it.
Director of Age Concern Swindon Jo Osorio said Jacquie's unexpected death had come as a complete shock to all the staff and volunteers. “She had such tremendous enthusiasm and energy to help; we have lost a good friend and a major supporter. Jacquie was hugely enthusiastic about everything she did and she was driven by her enthusiasm. We were delighted with her idea and organisation of the garden show with us as a principal beneficiary.
Jacquie's family have asked for donations in memory of Jacqui to be sent to Age Concern Swindon, 1 Milton Road, Swindon.
She is remembered by her husband Mike, daughter Heidi, son Robin and grandchildren, Jessica Lily, Isabel Daisy, and Poppy.