Lucia was a gracious, compassionate and erudite First Lady of Stowe. She contributed to the life and soul of the place in many and varied ways, ever self-effacing, but nonetheless much appreciated. Joining the all-male English Department, she added weight and depth, radiant in conveying her love of Milton‘s Paradise Lost, but wearing her literary knowledge lightly. She had the endearing habit when questioned of lifting her head and flickering her eyelashes as she pondered her response: that response was ever worth the wait.
She was a terrific cook and most elegant hostess at Kinloss, where it was a joy to share fellowship and the warm hospitality proffered by Christopher and Lucia. One such evening saw the arrival of two unexpected guests: they were welcomed as if nothing was amiss and an unusual but fascinating evening ensued – the occasion would have made a fine radio play. On the departure of the mystery couple, gentle laughter spilled from our hosts. Indeed, Lucia had a healthy and quick sense of humour, not always on display, but ever-present, lurking just under her academic hood.
She was kindness itself to staff, and not just the academic side: wives and young families were invited regularly, greeted with quiet cheer and treated to sparkling provender: one such recipient still fondly recalls Lucia‘s lemon pavlova. The Turners‘ dining room was a place of warmth, smiles, learning and truly valuable exchanges of ideas.
Her Christian faith was paramount in all she did, most nobly seen when she and Christopher lost their beloved daughter, Rosalie: they were courage incarnate, earning the admiration of us all. We were fortunate to fly in the same orbit as the good Lucia, albeit at lower level sometimes, though she would never have acknowledged that: she was beneficent, selfless, bountiful, serene and more besides, in Shakespeare‘s words, “a lass unparalleled”.