Jeffrey and Annaline will always be remembered and deeply missed by our family. Earl and his sister Carrol met Jeffrey and his brother when they were still preschoolers. They had weekend-homes hidden in the fynbos on the mountainside of Castle Rock near Miller’s Point. This was their playground, a children’s paradise in the days when children were allowed to roam free and the only rule was to be home by the time the street lights came on. Here, though, there were no street lights and even at night they enjoyed many adventures together. In their early teens, during the school holidays, they along with another friend, Garth and a few others, would be left from Monday to Friday to fend for themselves while the parents went back to the city for the work week. They would collect mussels from the rocks, fish both onshore and offshore and collect and sell sour figs on the side of the road.
These idyllic days were soon over and they all married and started families and though they were grown their friendship continued. Castle Rock was still a frequently visited place and when their parents passed on the properties stayed in their respective families. They still fished together and shared the ups and downs of their lives throughout the years. Jeff and Annaline had no children of their own but Earl’s Lisa and Lauren, and Carol’s Gregory and Peta-Ann were very close to them. They were the Godparents to all of them. They frequently slept over and even went on holiday with them. And when I joined the family as Earl’s second wife they warmly welcomed me and my little Laurie into the group and we became firm friends too.
Jeffrey and Annaline always stepped in to help whenever any of us needed them. So of course when Lisa came home after her marriage broke down they were there to selflessly help with baby-sitting, support and advice. Our two grandsons grew up as much in their home as in ours. They were like an extra pair of grandparents! When Jay was about five he was talking about ‘parents’. “What is a parent?” I asked him. “Somebody who looks after you,” came the reply. “So who are your parents?” I enquired. “Mom, you, Grandpa, Laurie and – Uncle Jeffrey and Aunty Annaline!” Because at that time they were looking after the two little boys a great deal.
Several years ago Jeffrey was diagnosed with colon cancer. He underwent surgery and chemo and we were relieved that he recovered and although he had regular check-ups he was in remission. Last year, Annaline suffered a stroke. For several months she was in hospital. Because of Covid, visiting was limited. It was a tough time for everyone. The four God-children were devastated that their precious aunt was suffering. At New Year’s she passed away. Then just a few months later, Jeffrey’s cancer returned. He had surgery but on Good Friday he too, passed away. Could it be that he just didn’t want to go on without his beloved wife?
Jeffrey was a proud man. He did not easily share his suffering and would brusquely deny that anything was amiss. He an Annaline had recently sold their home in Fish Hoek and had moved into a flat built onto the home he once owned at Castle Rock. He and Annaline had become friends with the new owner and he’d offered to let the flat to them. They were back in Jeff’s childhood holiday home, close to Carrol and her hubby Vere. Jonathan was so kind to them and a rock during Annaline’s and then Jeff’s illness. T
Not many people knew the real Annaline. She appeared to be quiet and unassuming but she had a tough inner strength. She danced ballet when she was young and after her marriage kept fit by doing advanced yoga. She was the perfect wife for Jeffrey while quietly pursuing her own career as a legal secretary. Later she studied through Unisa and achieved her law degree. Annaline was always quietly concerned about the people in her life. She never forgot a birthday or anniversary, encouraged the children in their pursuits, was non-judgemental but certainly offered good and wise advice when asked.
Jeffrey was a non-nonsense kind of guy. He was wonderful with the children but would not hesitate to give them a talking to when it was called for. The kids adored him. He made no demands but was always willing to give a hand or a listening ear.
Rest in Peace Jeffrey and Annaline. You were a huge part of our lives and we are going to miss you tremendously. Our lives are richer for having had you in them.