Tribute: Liz Youens, MBE
Wendover News featured Liz Youens in Jan 2021 to honour her MBE. This followed on from her original Local Face in Oct 2011. There has been a huge outpouring of grief since she died most unexpectedly in February 2021.
Jane Dunkley, neighbour to Liz for over 50 years writes: My lovely friend little Lizzie and her husband Dick were the most lovely neighbours and always there for advice and help. We are a close community, so we are all very upset. Lizzie tended her large garden all by herself and decorating the fence opposite with fantastic floral hanging baskets, all grown from seed, supplying tomato and cucumber plants every year and trying strange new wonders like auberginetatoes. Always a dog-lover, after Dick died, they became her life. When lockdown happened she no longer attended dog classes or out at 5.30am to the pool as she had every day for so many years. She came in a bubble with us and I saw her most days. She was also an amazing knitter by hand and machine zipping back and forth at a rate of knots and churning out the most fabulous clothes which used to hang on a rail just like in a shop. Fiercely independent and very eco-conscious, Lizzie installed solar panels for water and electricity. Such a pity she isn’t able to get her MBE in person.
Pat Lesingham writes: My family and I made so many happy memories over the years with Liz and her family. She helped my husband run the Lifesaving Club at Green Park which led to our families patrolling the Upper Thames at Reading, Wallingford, Marlow and Henley for Thames Rescue Service. We provided crews for special events, especially during the school summer holidays when there was no Lifesaving Club, including Concrete Canoe races at Thorpe Park, Dragon Boat racing, Traditional Boat racing at Henley and at the Royal Regatta, crews for St John Ambulance. I am still shocked and saddened by her unexpected death. Rest in Peace, Liz, we all miss you.
Tributes from Facebook:
So sad, I’ve known Liz for a long time. I used to work with her at Foam Engineers in High Wycombe. Sadly missed. Susan West
What a remarkable legacy Liz has left. Nearly every if not all of the lifeguards at the pool were trained by Liz and guided through the qualification facilitating the ongoing viability and success to provide such a wonderful and safe asset to our community. Liz will be truly missed by the Wendover Swimming community. Thoughts are with her family. Thank you for your unwavering support. Justin Craig, former Trustee, Wendover Pool
I met Liz at Green Park and Aylesbury Ducks. She was always there whatever and gave her time unconditionally. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. Graham Howard
Oh no. She was my son’s lifesaving teacher at Green Park until lockdown. A very encouraging and supportive lady. She will be missed. Joanne Garlick
Liz taught me nearly everything I know about water safety and swimming. She has helped so many people and is so loved within the community. She will be truly missed. Sarah Hobbs, Wendover Pool Trustee
Such sad news, helped me learn to swim back in the 80s and was such a big part of WSA when the pool opened. David Elliott
Such sad news, Liz was such a great ambassador for the Wendover pool and water safety, she taught all our girls for Rookie Lifeguarding. Niamh Burton
This is really sad news, her commitment to opening up for the early morning swimming sessions at 5:30am, cleaning and administration of the Wendover pool and her dedication towards Swimming Life Saving training she truly deserved her MBE award. Thoughts are with her family. Chris Minall