Family’s farewell to 100-year-old Lilla

Lilla Fox SUS-150218-151504001
Lilla Fox SUS-150218-151504001

An artist and political enthusiast committed to nuclear disarmament, multiculturalism and the rights of older people has died, aged 100.

Lilla Fox, of West Green, died at Deerswood Lodge Care Home on January 16.

Now her family, including her children Ruth, Margaret and Joseph, is calling on anyone who knew Lilla to share their personal memories.

Lilla was brought up in the area and moved back to Crawley in 1986 to be near Margaret, who was raising a young family in the town.

Ruth, who lives in France, described how her mother threw herself into community life, taking an active role in her residents’ association, sharing her love of local history and paying regular visits to her friends in the Sikh and Hindu communities.

Her skills as an artist saw her capture many Crawley scenes as well as designing cartoons and posters.

Ruth said: “Through an old friend, she took part in the local bee-keepers’ association and some of her most exquisite work was the beautiful posters, tea-towels and brochures she designed for them.”

Ruth added: “She was a gregarious person with a great sense of humour, but also fearless and self-disciplined, as witness her persistence in active politics and participation in demonstrations.

“She was also a good manager and much in demand for chairing meetings. Many people will remember her funny pages in the pensioners’ magazine Grey Matters and in the many posters she produced.”

As for Lilla’s politics, Ruth said she was “constant and committed”, especially when it came to her work with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. And she was not afraid to listen to the views of people with opposing political views.

Ruth said: “Although a Socialist ever since her student days, she had a great respect and affection for people she knew who were Conservatives. She had a wide circle of friends of every background and had a gift for talking with anyone, friend or foe.”

Ruth said Lilla had been “very happy” living in West Green and added: “She appreciated the sense of participation by the inhabitants in the development of the town, in particular the fact that there were ramps for invalid buggies on all the pavements!”