Retired North Walsham optician Dilys Ling loses 12-year battle with cancer

Retired optician and busy community worker Dilys Ling has died in hospital after a 12 year battle against cancer, and just six days after her 69th birthday.

Mrs Ling, who was born at Mill Hill, London, studied ophthalmic optics at the Northampton College of Science and Advanced Technology in London, where she met her husband Mike in 1961. She qualified as Fellow of the British Optical Association and Fellow of the Spectacle Maker's Company, and, after serving her apprenticeship in the City of London, became a Freeman of the City of London.

She married Mike in 1965 at St Nicholas Church, North Walsham and, after some years working for Cecil Amey opticians in Norwich, joined him at Mike in the mid 1970s at the North Walsham practice he set up in 1965 where she worked until illness forced her retirement in 1999.

Mrs Ling was tireless in her work to help others and was a member of the Women's Institute, Inner Wheel, Ladies Circle and Tangent. In Inner Wheel, the club for Rotarians' wives, she was president three times, secretary seven times and treasurer three times. In Ladies Circle, the organisation for wives of Round Tablers she served as chairman and area chairman.

Dilys was an accomplished lace maker and needlewoman who delighted in all things to do with embroidery, tapestry, cross stitch and quilting. She was also sought after for her skills with calligraphy and decorated eggs.

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Mrs Ling, who died on January 2 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, also leaves sons Martin, who now runs the family business, and Graham, an oil company project manager, along with five grandchildren, Rachel, Harry, Lewis, Alexander and Benjamin.

A memorial service will be held at the St. Nicholas Church, North Walsham at 12 noon on Friday January 20. Family flowers only but donations, if desired, to The Big C (Norfolk and Waveney Cancer Charity) c/o Murrell Cork Funeral Directors, 57a Mundesley Road, North Walsham.

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