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Elizabeth Rolfe, dedicated protector of Rye dies, aged 90
A MUSIC loving grandmother who was instrumental in protecting The Rye from development in the 1960s has died aged 90.
Elizabeth Rolfe passed away peacefully at St Bernard's Court in Harlow Road, High Wycombe, on Sunday, September 1.
She moved to Wycombe from Kent in 1953 following her marriage to George, who worked for William Birch Ltd and then as a director of E Gomme Ltd.
The mother of four was a key member in the campaign to prevent the Borough Council from building an inner relief road through The Rye in 1964.
The Rye Protection Society - which later became The High Wycombe Society - persuaded the House of Commons that the park should remain untouched.
Her son Alastair said: "She was young at heart, she had a good sense of humour and took risks, trying new things even into her nineties.
"She was open hearted, loyal and committed. She had a positive attitude, savoured life and was a great encourager of people from all ages and backgrounds. She was valued for her presence and lived by her faith."
Mrs Rolfe was a teenage piano prodigy, who played her own compositions live on the BBC and won the Stewart Macpherson Prize for keyboard harmony and extemporisation.
She taught piano at both Pipers Corner and Godstowe Schools and was an active member of the Wycombe Music Society.
Mrs Rolfe, who was born in Plymouth, organised concerts well into her eighties for All Saints Church, where she worshipped for 60 years.
She remained a volunteer for Open Door, a drop-in lunch club for vulnerable people at the Union Baptist Church in the town centre, until her death.
Mrs Rolfe leaves four children - John, Sheila, Alastair and Philippa - eight grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.
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