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Obituary: Di Mussert – ex-Lymington school governor

FORMER Lymington school governor, teacher and Milford playgroup leader Di Mussert has died at the age of 76.

A popular and long-standing supporter of New Milton Lion’s Club, Diana – known as Di – was also inVOLVED in setting up the New Forest Marathon more than 40 years ago. She was a keen volunteer at New Milton Rugby Club and the Catholic parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Milford for more than five decades.

Born in Pinner, Middlesex, in 1947, Di was the youngest daughter of Len and Mavis Thomas, and sister to Gill. She met her husband Nick when she was 15 and they stayed together happily for the next 60 years.

Di Mussert
Di Mussert

Di and Nick were married in 1968 and moved to Barton. They quickly settled into the local community, making many friends through New Milton Rugby and New Milton Lions clubs. Di’s work through these two organisations, as well as the church, provided support and help to community and welfare initiatives across the New Forest.

She helped with the set-up and running of the first five years of the New Forest Marathon, eventually being persuaded to run the half-marathon herself in 1987, an achievement of which she was very proud.

After having her three daughters – Sian, Vicki and Cathy – Di became a child-minder. She flourished in the role, eventually leading the playgroup at Milford Primary School in the 1980s.

In 1987, Di fulfilled her life-long dream of going to university and training to become a teacher. She graduated in 1991 and joined St. Walburga’s Catholic School in Bournemouth.

Di Mussert
Di Mussert

Di was a talented and much-loved educator who flourished in teaching, bringing her sense of fun, kindness and warmth to pupils and colleagues alike. She remained at St. Walburga’s until her retirement in 2011, before becoming a governor at Our Lady and St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary in Lymington.

Di was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and went through treatment with her usual cheerful determination. Given the all-clear in 2005, she and her daughter Vicki went on to raise more than £11,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2007.

Her cancer returned in 2017, this time incurably; Di and her husband Nick made a bucket list which saw them travel all over the world over the next six years, including Kenya, Australia and Canada. Some of her happiest times were in these final years.

Di died peacefully at Oakhaven Hospice on Friday 15th December, surrounded by loved ones. A celebration of her life will take place at St. Francis of Assisi on Thursday 4th January at 11.30am, which is open to all.

Anyone wanting to donate in Di’s memory can give to Oakhaven Hospice c/o Tappers Funeral Service, Milford.

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