The ‘truly moving’ story of one man sharing his wife’s children’s book after her death

Ron with his dog Morgan and a copy of Ann's childrens book Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ron with his dog Morgan and a copy of Ann's childrens book Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A beloved wife and mother’s book is being published by her husband after her death.

Ann Joyes passed away last September. Her husband Ron has now published a book that she wrote and il

Ann Joyes passed away last September. Her husband Ron has now published a book that she wrote and illustrated to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice and the British Lung Foundation Picture:CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Ann Joyes and husband Ron, originally from Walthamstow, married in 1956 and spent 63 wonderful years together.

Working as a schoolteacher in London, Mrs Joyes spent her spare time writing and illustrating her own stories for the children she taught.

Mr Joyes, a policeman, often visited the school to talk to the children and says her class loved to her the stories his wife created.

"All the children loved to hear Ann read. That book in particular came off their shelf a lot," said Mr Joyes, now 83.

Ron with his dog Morgan and a copy of Ann's childrens book Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ron with his dog Morgan and a copy of Ann's childrens book Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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"The children adored her, they loved hearing the stories and looking at the illustrations she had done for them.

"I always told her she should try and publish it but she insisted it was never good enough for that."

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The pair retired to the Suffolk village of Holton St Mary in 1983.

Sadly, after months of ill health, Mrs Joyes died aged 80 in September 2019.

Ron Joyes reflected in his wedding photograph. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ron Joyes reflected in his wedding photograph. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

"Ann became very poorly in her last six months and needed daily help from the hospice team and our daughter, who is also a carer," said Mr Joyes.

"The nurses treated her with great respect and kindness, they were brilliant.

"Instead of flowers at her funeral we asked for donations for St Elizabeth Hospice and the British Lung Foundation.

"We were so grateful that we were able to send both of them large cheques in her name."

Since then, Mr Joyes has discovered the original manuscripts for her books and decided dedicate Ann's work to the charities that supported her - with all the money raised by the books going directly to the causes.

"The children's favourite story was one about a little boy called Jimmy Bean," said Mr Joyes.

"I contacted a publisher and I'm delighted to say they will be releasing it this year.

"I miss Ann so much but would be glad to see her book enjoyed by children everywhere."

Pauline Donkin, individual giving manager for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "When Ann's book arrived on my desk with a note from her husband Ron, I was truly moved by his story.

"Her artwork and words will now be enjoyed by so many and their generous donation will help support our patients here at the hospice."

Mr Joyes has already shared the book with family and friends to rave reviews.

He has even sent a copy to the school his wife once taught at, Thorpe Hall Primary School.

"I spoke to the headteacher there and she told me it was going on the shelf in their library," added Mr Joyes.

"I'm sure it'll be coming off there a few times."

James Culling, director of fundraising at the British Lung Foundation, said: "This book is a wonderful way to remember Ann and celebrate her writing and we're so grateful to Ron and his family for donating to us."

Ann Joyes first book, Jimmy Bean and the Hair Wash, is available on Amazon now.

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