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Irene Virginia Hayward

1961 was a very good year for Brendan Hayward.

When he called in at Jack Hills Transport Cafe by Junction 10 of the M6 motorway in Walsall, he was just in time to see the boss Pat Hill, chase two very young ladies into the serving area. They were Marion Batterson and Virginia Smith. He couldn’t help but notice that Virginia had a smile to “light up a room”.

Over the next few months they chatted. However, it took a Saturday night out with his friend Fred Foster at the Red Lion pub in Willenhall for his luck to take a turn for the better.

The pub was quite crowded and while he was waiting to be served at the bar he felt a pain at the back of his right leg, he turned to see who had inflicted it and standing beside him was the smile that could light up a room!! Vijjie.

Soon after they began dating – trips to the cinema and Chinese meals and that was the start of their life with each other.

During this time Vijjie was working at H Frost & Company in Walsall assembling electric fires and he was driving lorries long distance and working many hours.

Vijjie was born on the 16 November 1945 – she was the youngest child of Frederick and Alice Smith. She had a brother Ralph and a sister Yvonne.

Vijjie endured a tough childhood because her dad had been killed in a road traffic accident and her mom struggled to bring up 3 young children alone.

Brendan and Virginia were married in 1967.

No one could be more proud than Vijjie was when her two adored sons were born and she was besotted by them.

Sean in 1968 and Steve in 1971. Vijjie loved being a mom and doted on her two gorgeous boys.

Whilst the boys were young Vijjie took part-time work during the evening collecting payments for an Insurance company.

Vijjie was never happier than when she was cheering on Sean and Steve from the sidelines whilst they played football in all weathers. She then spent hours laundering muddy football kits or acting as a taxi service from one game to another.

It was through the love of the beautiful game of football, which started out as a hobby for the boys and then later became a career for them, that Vijjie and Brendan travelled to the South of France. This was where they met Geoff and Glynis Rouse who became great friends. Over the years they have travelled with them to Hungary and Portugal and shared many happy times whilst supporting their sons together. In 1982 she became a Practice Manager for Dr Kaul where she worked along side her very good friend Jackie. Their friendship endured way after Vijjie retired at age 55.

Even though Jackie and Vijjie no longer worked together - when they were stuck for 2 hours in V Festival traffic, on their way to a garden centre they still had plenty to laugh about. Whilst it was plain that Sean and Steve were the apple of Vijjie’s eye she was delighted when they met and married the loves of their life. Vijjie welcomed Kerry Griffin and Stacey Humphries in to the Hayward family with a warm heart and open arms.

It is a great testament to the kind, warm and loving woman that she was, that she was delighted and proud when she became Grandmother to Joshua.

Josh was born in April 2000 and his arrival started a baby boom in the Hayward family. She was over the moon to become a Grandmother again 10 months later. With two births in February 2001 to the lovely Jodie and Stevie and again 11 months later another beautiful granddaughter, Laila. 2008 was the year Grandson Vinnie arrived to complete her happiness.

A more loving and hands on Grandmother would be difficult to find. Nothing was too much trouble for her delightful grand children. She had a new lease of life as she launched herself fully in to all of their activities and encouraged and supported all of their hopes and dreams.

Over the years many treasured happy times and holidays in Wales and America were shared with Bill and Gwen Ward. Bill and Gwen are cherished friends whose love and support has lasted a lifetime. Vijjie’s number one priority in life was family and they came first. However, she also loved walking her dogs across Pelsall North Common where she was a familiar sight.

Her other love was dancing. It was through her love of dancing – and on this occasion Line Dancing, that 16 years ago she met her lovely friend Ann. It was this shared activity that bought them close together and they went on to enjoy many days out and holidays together. This bond was further cemented when Ann’s Grandson Danny was born at the same time as Stevie in 2001.

Vijjie and Ann had great times out together with their boys who became firm friends. Vijjie, Stevie, Ann and Danny also shared a wonderful vacation at Disneyland Paris together – happy days were shared by all. Vijjie and Ann shared a special friendship through the good times and Ann remained a loyal friend and companion through the dark days of illness and despair. Through the ups, downs, trials and tribulations of family life Vijjie always promoted, tolerance, loyalty and solidarity. It was these beliefs passed on from one generation to the next that served her well during her hour of need - making Sean and Steve a credit to her. In what were to become her final weeks on earth she was looked after and cared for in a warm and loving environment.

Steve and Stacey opened up their family home - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This enabled close family and friends to be able to stay, sleep over and spend valuable time with her. Through this selfless act of love that no amount of money could buy, Vijjie could keep her privacy and dignity which meant so much to her. Vijjie and the family were extremely grateful to Sue – the Nurse, who helped Vijjie and was on call whenever needed - which on occasion was in her own time.

Vijjie was also very grateful to Bev who did her hair and make-up. No amount of suffering was going to stop her making a huge effort to look her best – even at the end.

Virginia Hayward – much loved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt and Friend was a beautiful, kind, generous, thoughtful and dignified lady who much preferred to give to others than receive.

To know her, and to be loved by her, was a privilege. The essence of the woman she was will live on forever in the hearts and minds of those that love her.