A TALENTED artist, gardener and former Mayoress of Lymington, Patricia Wales, has passed away at the age of 84.
Having moved to the New Forest town in 1970, she was a popular and well-known lady who ran the sport and leisure shop Maxwell Hamilton with her husband Graham.
Before this, Patricia was one of the first two female RSPCA inspectors and she was a keen gardener and watercolour artist. with work exhibited in several London galleries as well as France and Denmark.
She was the daughter of Maxwell and Jesse Jones, who had emigrated to Canada in the late 1920's, but then her mother became ill, the family, which included her brother Lindsay, returned to Britain when Patricia was just two years old.
Her father worked as an Admiralty scientist working on the development of radar. This role required several house moves and during the Second World War the family were bombed out of their Portsmouth home, although Patricia was most upset about the loss of a crafted dolls' house her father had recently made for her.
After the war the family moved to Shackleford, near Godalming. At this time Patricia progressed through grammar school and on to Guildford Technical College.
While there studying social science, she developed her love for animal care.
She soon joined the RSPCA and became one of the first two female inspectors in the country.
The role saw her tasked with working in difficult and testing situations, which included at one time looking after many injured animals after a major train crash in Harrow.
After meeting her future husband Graham, she moved back to Guildford and the couple wed in 1956. After marrying they purchased a house, which they lived in for several years and adopted their two sons, Ben and Toby.
"I remember her being one of the most selfless people I have ever met," son Toby said.
"She was always concerned with other people's wellbeing. She was very welcoming and selfless all the time.
"She would have put other people before herself and that's my enduring memory of her. She never wanted to be any trouble or problem for anyone.
"All her life she loved animals and looked after them as well."
In 1970 the family moved to Lymington, where the couple opened Maxwell Hamilton on High Street. In the more than 40 years since then, the store has become a fixture in the town.
With a large walled garden, their home provided an inspiration for Patricia to start producing paintings of flowers in watercolour.
She supported Graham's time as mayor of Lymington, serving as mayoress from 1981 to 1983. They moved out of the town to Sway in 1997 and Patricia created a beautiful three level garden.
Following an approach from a greetings card companY, several of her watercolour works were reproduced as cards and sold in WH Smith.
She also produced her own cards, which proved popular. The couple retired to Lymington in 2010, although Patricia continued to work in the garden.
"The thing she liked most was going out, looking at flowers and visiting gardens. She loved being outside in the country," Graham said.
"When I would come back from work we would watch badgers down in their sett. We often sat there with our dog until it got dark.
"When we arrived in Lyn1ington we knew we had come home. She was so happy to be here and loved being in Lymington."
Sad!Y, Patricia suffered a stroke in 2014, which limited her ability to paint or garden and she then moved to Highcliffe Nursing Home where she died on January 24.
Patricia is survived by husband Graham, her two sons Ben and Toby and two grandchildren.
Anyone wishing to donate in Patricia's memory is asked to give to the Stroke Association c/o Hinton park Woodland Burial Ground, Wyndham Road, Walkford.
A celebration of her life took place at Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground on Wednesday, February 21 at 3pm.