Part 6 of the Sussex Hospices Trail has been kindly sponsored by Juliet Smith in memory of her husband, Martin Smith (1938-2016) and her stepdaughter, Rebecca Cook (1966-2011).
Martin could not have been a more devoted father to Rebecca, the middle of three daughters: their relationship was extremely close.
Rebecca contracted Hodgkin’s disease in 1972 and bravely endured every kind of therapy and surgical intervention over the years. In spite of this she qualified as a vet and even started a vet locum business which she continued to run from her hospital bed on many occasions. She was also an inveterate fund-raiser, rising to so many challenges and never letting her illness hold her back. Rebecca was a life-force, never to be forgotten and her father was with her to the very end.
Martin himself was unwell for a number of years but was always optimistic; his death earlier this year coming as a great shock to everyone, not least to me, his wife of over 30 years.
Martin was a patent attorney, rising to become senior partner in his London firm. He was incredibly creative and inventive in a diverse range of fields: he would always persevere until a solution had been found. In addition, he was a pioneer of computer programming. In mid-life Martin took up flying and together we enjoyed spectacular flying holidays, meeting amazing people along the way. Most of all he was a truly honourable gentleman: loving and loyal with a wonderful sense of humour. Martin was as constant as the North Star.
This walk from Brighton to Southease was of especial interest to us as a family, living in Brighton Marina and enjoying endless walks with our Labrador, Bollinger, to Rottingdean and beyond.
Juliet Smith, July 2016