We are paying tribute to a long serving and prominent figure in Oxford and Oxfordshire who has recently passed away.
John Harmsworth, aged 82, who died on May 16th, was a former Trustee of Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and was also a Principal Social Worker with Deaf people with Oxfordshire County Council for many years.
Hilary Grime, former Trustee colleague, explained: “We were so very sad to hear that John has passed away. He will be sorely missed by us all. Everyone appreciated his down to earth advice as we navigated this constantly changing and challenging world.
He was always willing to share his knowledge and expertise with those of us who worked with him. I personally learnt so much from him about the rich history of Oxfordshire’s Deaf and hard of hearing community then in turn about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre as I joined him as a Trustee.
We are indebted to John for all the memories he shared with us from those early years. He was our human computer memory of events and people; invaluable and often with a good dash of humour.
He was a strong advocate for accuracy in all areas of Deafness both locally and nationally. All the members of the Oxfordshire Deaf community are going to miss him tremendously.”
Alexandra Dury is an Oxfordshire (& Banbury) volunteer and has fond memories of John. “I used to work at Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre and he was always very patient. He was very good company and often regaled me with stories about the good old days in Oxford Deaf community. John was a role model for me and no doubt he was for many other people. His commitment shone through in the way he lived his life, always putting others before himself. I am so glad to have known him and counted him as a friend and mentor.”
Another former Trustee colleague and now Action Deafness Trustee, Penelope Lenon, also had kind words to say about John. “John’s strong passion was evidenced by the way he selflessly brought a little richness into the lives of Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind people in our community for over 30 years.”
Farewell John, and thank you for all you have done for the Oxfordshire Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind community.