The founding chairman and joint president of Pendleside Hospice Miss Muriel Jobling MBE has died at the age of 93.
Miss Jobling, one of Burnley’s longest-ever serving solicitors, helped set up Pendleside in 1988 under the name Hospice Care for Burnley and Pendle. She died at her Burnley home after a short period in hospital.
Miss Jobling joined her family’s law firm Jobling, Jobling and Knape (now Southerns) as a young student and after qualifying worked at the solicitor’s offices in Bank Parade, Burnley, well past her retirement.
She was also a volunteer for the Girl Guides for 29 years and became the Commonwealth HQ adviser for the movement.
She decided to help create a hospice after her cleaner suffered a facial cancer. When she visited her in hospital she discovered the awful services on offer to cancer sufferers at that time.
She chaired two public meetings which then began seven years of fundraising to launch the first hospice services in Burnley and Pendle.
David Brown, who succeeded Miss Jobling as chairman of Pendleside Hospice in 2004 said: “To many people in Burnley, Muriel has been the Hospice since its inception. The two words, Muriel and Hospice, have gone hand in glove for as long as most of us can remember. Without Muriel, the Hospice would not be where it is today.
“Under her leadership we progressed from a small day care unit in less than ideal surroundings to a 10-bed inpatient unit, day therapy, and a 24-hour hospice at home service. One of the ways this success was achieved was Muriel’s contact book, which must be the size of an encyclopaedia.”
Mr Brown added: “Muriel continued to take a very active role in Pendleside up until the last few months when she became too poorly to travel. Some of us would then visit her at home, keep her up to date with what was going on, and seek her views on many topics.
“Muriel was always the first to admit that it has been very much a team effort, but with the strong leadership and inspiration she always gave, the team performed much better.
Burnley and Pendle have lost a very good friend and both boroughs will be the poorer without her.
“We will, of course, all miss her company, advice, and, indeed sense of humour, but Pendleside Hospice will continue to provide the care it does thanks to Muriel’s foresight and the generosity of the local community.”
Miss Jobling was awarded the MBE for service to the community in June, 1994. She was also a lifetime Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire.
She had also given 70 years service to the Law Society.
The initial day-care services for the hospice service were provided at Marsden Hospital.The foundation stone for the present hospice building in Colne Road, Reedley, was laid in 1996 and its official opening was in 1997.