Worthing is mourning the loss of a ‘caring role model’ and a ‘principled, passionate and professional woman of the community’.
Marian Down, a funeral director and long-serving member of the Worthing Lions, died on Sunday, September 2, after being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
Worthing crematorium was ‘filled to overflowing’ at her funeral last Tuesday.
Councillor Hazel Thorpe, vice president of the Worthing Lions, said: “Marian had a full and varied life which she lived to the full and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
“Marian was exemplary in everything she did, though she didn’t spare us her feisty side.
“Her independence and commitment to those she came in contact with in her everyday life was faultless.
“She was always there for her family, friends and our community with support, advice and love – she challenged situations when they were wrong, discriminatory or just unfair.”
Marian ran a funeral business in Lyndhurst Road as part of H. D. Tribes.
As well as being the ‘ultimate carer’, she was a motorhome enthusiast alongside her beloved husband Ted, an animal lover, a photographer, a model for Liberty in her teens and a fan of exotic jewellery.
She was twice president of the Worthing Lions, of which she was also a trustee and press officer.
As president, she initiated 600 boxes being sent to the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, supported Canine Partners with funding for a working dog, helped to provide a motorbike for the Blood-runners and swam in an aid of an organisation which helps people with disabilities to swim called Squids.
In 2014, Marian very proud to be awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest award that can be given to a Lion.
Her final suggestion was for other people to join charitable organisations such as the Lions, to ‘show your love and be loved’.
Marian’s son Russ said: “Mum was a marvellous person, I’m receiving so many messages from people who she helped in one way or another.”
“It’s a huge loss for me personally but it’s great to know that she made a positive impact on so many people.”
Wadars is Marian’s chosen charity for donations via Tribes.