Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Jill Erdoğan was probably best known in Fethiye for the part she played in the life of FIG. She joined the committee in the early years and took on the role of treasurer, raising the basically kept records of income and outgoings to recognisable and presentable annual accounts. She also exerted her influence when it came to what were affordable outgoings and what were fanciful wishes, always ensuring the balance was in the black but not by too much.
Jill was an endless source of ideas, about which activities to carry out and how things should be done. During her time as chair, her enthusiasm was so strong that she sometimes overstretched the capacity of others; indeed, some found it hard to keep up with her! As the leadership of Fig changed over the years, Jill also became an invaluable source of knowledge and experience about how things worked, helping it to evolve into the respected charity for the benefit of local children that it is today.
Prior to her life in Turkey, Jill had lived a full and varied life. She had been an enthusiastic sportswoman, from activities with balls and racquets to water skiing. In addition to being a wife and mothering three daughters she also had found time to train as an operatic singer. She took part in amateur dramatics, including Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as other singing events. When she found time to undertake paid work she was a dispensing optician.
Then suddenly, just as this powerhouse of energy was slowing down on her responsibilities and organising her life more quietly, tucked away down a pleasant lane in Kaya village, she learned she had a very serious illness. Jill took this news with incredible courage, becoming more concerned about what others, especially those dearest to her, needed to know or needed to do.
As always her energies were devoted to the benefit of others. She then proceeded to plan and organise everything that she could in the settlement of her affairs. Her bravery, dignity and courage became an example to us all.
During her final days many of her friends from all parts of the community gave their help and support so that she and her family could spend her last days at her home and in her garden in Kaya.
Jill died in the early hours of 18th May and was laid to rest in a quiet, tree-covered corner of the Keçiler cemetery in the Kaya Valley.
Many friends attended the funeral, during which the local Imam and celebrant, David Groom, each conducted short ceremonies.
Written by Susan Tekin