Obituary: Judith Lavery
Judith Lavery was born in Ilford, Essex in 1954. She loved school and excelled but from a young age had a great affinity for colour and expressing herself and subsequently wanted to become an artist. Her father was not so keen, and guided her towards following a profession.
She took this advice and read for her degree in optometry at City University, London in the early 1970s. During her undergraduate time, she worked at the London Refraction Hospital and after gaining her FBOA and FCOptom qualifications worked at Hutchings in Shenfield before making the move up to the East Midlands.
For a number of years, she was the full-time optometrist at Bowleys Opticians in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Then as her three children, Phoebe, Harriet and Toby arrived, she had a brief spell working part-time for Boots Opticians and also experimented with her own domiciliary business called Opticall, then worked for many years for Richard Simmons in Oakham and more latterly for Pirrie Optometrists in Stamford.
She also established some academic collaborations and was a well-respected expert in acuity metrics and eye disease in the elderly, publishing two papers (one as first author) with Professor Rosenthal in the mid-1980s. In addition to her growing special interest in contact lenses, keratoconus and glaucoma, expanded her expertise by working at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Away from work she had numerous interests. Travelling abroad gave her a love for cooking and shopping. She had a reputation for not only wearing bright colours but for carrying it off with style and panache. In addition, she had a passion for film, ballet and music, singing a broad range of genres from jazz to gospel in numerous choirs for more than 20 years.
Judith Lavery worked throughout her illness, maintaining an amazing degree of dignity and strength, only very recently deciding to finally retire. She will be very much missed by her family, friends, colleagues and patients.
Submitted by colleague Manjula Alexander, Simmons Optometrists