My friend and former colleague Jo Goldie, who has died aged 95, was a district nurse based in the Somerset village of South Petherton, where she spent her entire career.

She and a nursing friend, Cynthia Wade, moved to South Petherton in 1957 after finishing their nursing training. The idea was to do a two-year stint before moving on, but they took to the village, it took to them, and they stayed for the duration.

In the beginning Jo and Cynthia had only 24 hours off a week and would turn up at people’s houses at a moment’s notice. In the 1950s and 60s more than half the babies born in the locality were home-delivered by Jo or Cynthia. Many years later, when Jo stood for the local district council, she told the local MP, Paddy Ashdown, that she didn’t need his help in canvassing the village, as everyone knew her. Paddy insisted on accompanying her, but gave in after knocking on a few doors. Everyone did, indeed, know Jo.

She was born in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, to Bernard, who worked at the Milk Marketing Board, and Gladys (nee Archard), a housewife. After attending Weston-super-Mare county school for girls, at the age of 16 she began her nursing training, initially in Bath, then at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, followed by midwifery training in London and Oxford. It was then that she and Cynthia made the move to South Petherton.

In later years Jo was also a church warden in the village and sang in the church choir. A member of the Women’s Institute, she set up relaxation and mothercraft classes, started a Brownie pack, helped at guide camps, founded the 60 Club, a social club for people over 60, and ran tea dances for retired people.

She was also the first woman to chair South Petherton parish council and became an elected member of the district council, which is where I met her in 1987. She also found time to travel the world – from China to Canada, Australia to India – and was a very involved, caring and kind aunt to her nieces and their offspring.

Jo loved gardening, often opening her own to the public for charity. In her 80s she fell out of an apple tree that she was pruning. She drove as fearlessly as she gardened, and had a succession of vehicles, starting with a Vespa and ending with a mobility scooter (on which she was a demon) via open-topped sports cars and camper vans.

She lived independently in her own house until a bad fall in 2023, and in the last few months of her life she said that she was ready to go – on to what she believed was another exciting adventure. The epitome of “a good and faithful servant” to her community, Jo touched and improved the lives of many people.

Her brother, Derek, died in 2019. She is survived by her nieces, Alison, Nicola and Kate.

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