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Frances Turner (Nee Coe)

 Born 29th June 1947 – Died 19th March 2022

Frances had a strong and vivacious personality that made her the centre of attention wherever she went. She was fiercely independent of thought and action and had a strong sense of right and wrong. She loved and understood people and she was kind, courageous and generous. She cared about social and women’s issues and that caring, kindness and love of people stayed with her throughout her life. She was a feisty, independent woman with a wicked sense of humour, a wonderful sense of fun and would joke that her epitaph would be ’never had a bad word to say about anyone’.


Early Life & Schooling

On the 29th June 1947 Frances Lesley, first daughter and second child, was born to Henry and Ettie Coe, a sister for Robert Michael who was born 16 months earlier in 1946. Frances was born in the Old Court Clinic in Ealing before the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948. Henry and Ettie Coe were living in a flat in Dudden Hill Lane, Neasden. In 1948 the family moved to Preston Road to a house at 74 Ravenscroft Avenue. Frances attended Robin School Nursery in Preston Road and after that briefly attended St Gabriel’s School before being offered a place at Heathfield School for Girls in Harrow. The junior school was in Harrow on the Hill and from the age of around 7 Frances insisted that she didn’t need anyone to accompany her on the underground every day from Preston Road to Harrow. The family were members of Wembley United Synagogue and although not regular attendees Frances attended Hebrew classes for many years. As a teenager and in her early 20s she was always the centre of all social life in her circle and her bubbly personality could not be ignored. 

Education & Working Life

Frances did well enough in her A Levels to go on to University, however, her parents were against her going away from home. As a result, Frances attended the City of London College, where she studied business studies. Following college, Frances decided she wanted to do something in the ‘not for profit sector’ and moved to work for a charity called Task Force. Much to the irritation of her father she was given a van, and of course living at home it was parked outside the house every night. She worked all her adult life in the caring sector. Following her college studies during the late 1960s, she worked with Task Force, an organisation dedicated to the care and support of the elderly in the community. She followed this as the Lady Almoner (Social Worker) at The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in the early 1970s. She studied Social Administration at The London School of Economics followed by a diploma in Counselling at South-West London College. She worked in community counselling and set up the Hampstead Community Centre Counselling Service. She worked as the counsellor for Oasis, a support unit for the personnel from University College Hospital Trust and Great Ormand Street. Later she pioneered Counselling in General Medical Practice. She completed her master’s degree in Continuing Education at the City University.


Charitable Commitment

Frances’ skills and social commitment meant that over the years she worked for several charities. She cared deeply about social equality and women’s rights and on her retirement, she used her experience skills and commitment in the charitable sector. She worked with and chaired various charities, including Jewish Continuity, University Jewish Chaplaincy and the Anna Freud Centre, eventually becoming a Trustee and later Chair of Jewish Women’s Aid which brought together the issues that mattered most to her.


Marriage, Children & Grandchildren

Frances married her childhood friend David Turner on 19th December 1971. 

She and David started their married life in Primrose Hill and then settled in Belsize Park. She had 3 children – Anna, Benjamin and Gabriel and was a wonderful, loving and supportive mum. Their home was always a hub of activity – full of fun and a focal point for the family, with a constant flow of guests around the Shabbat and Yom Tov table. She was a proud and adoring grandmother to her 8 grandchildren.


She is survived by her husband David and her 3 children – A daughter Anna married to Michael Hurwitz with 3 children Tali, Maya and Jamie, and 2 sons Benjamin married to Sarah Flax with 2 children Albie and Dougie, and Gabriel married to Lauren Gold with 3 children Edie, Wolfie and Luna.

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