The funeral took place on Tuesday at Barham Crematorium of Diane Lamberton, Chairman of fund raising at Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
Diane collapsed at the station two weeks ago whilst working in the station shop with husband Larry. She had just celebrated her 81st birthday.
Around 200 members of her family, friends and lifeboat community packed chapel to hear Dr Terry Stefani, the stations casualty care co-ordinator deliver a eulogy to Diane on behalf of her family.
“She was born into the well known and respected Foreman family, one of those Whitstable families whose roots go back centuries and are intimately linked to our community and the sea, the second of three children to parents Vic and Vi , some 4 years after her sister Marge and before the arrival of her brother Dave”.
“She attended the Westmeads and Endowed schools before leaving to work at a bakers in Swalecliffe and later moved to ‘Griffey’s’ the paint and decorators suppliers in the High St.. She met her future husband Larry on her 21st birthday and after 4 years of courtship they eventually married in 1957 later moving into what has remained their marital home in Westmeads Rd ever since”.
“Andrew their son was born in 1958 and Di became a fulltime mum until around 1968 when she became an agricultural worker before joining Larry at Ross fish and then later Quayfish on Whitstable Harbour until their joint retirement in 2002”.
“The family involvement with the Whitstable lifeboat came from its very outset when the station opened in 1963. Larry and Diane’s brother David were part of the original crew both serving later as helmsmen and then Honorary Secretary of the station”.
“Diane became part of the fundraising branch from its outset and in 1986 she became the chairman, a position she held until her untimely death”.
“This remarkable group have over the years raised well over a million pounds for the RNLI , and as an example back in 2001 alone they raised over £45000 and have been consistently amongst the highest fundraising branches in the country”.
“In recognition of all her efforts Di received in 1992 a letter of thanks from the Institution, and subsequently the bronze, silver and gold RNLI badge for all her superb effort.”
“As a fundraiser she was totally committed and driven, as a friend warm, welcoming, loyal and with great integrity, as a wife she was to quote Larry “The best”, as a mum “all you could ever hope for “, as a sister and as a grandma – warm, loving, caring and always there for you, always eager to have a chat and gossip but a nightmare to get off the phone, when cheerio would take at least five minutes”.
“She was for so many people the face of Whitstable lifeboat station turning up at innumerable charity events to collect any funds raised or collecting and emptying the collection tins and so much more. She was not somebody seeking the personal limelight and was much happier in the background, beavering away unconditionally and the sort of person we can but admire and respect and if you had asked Di “How and where would you wish to die, then ‘suddenly’ without warning, at the boathouse would be high on that list”.