Beloved goat breeder passes away

DEARLY loved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and Angora goat breeder Marjorie Jarvis passed away at home on Friday, July 30.

Mrs Jarvis, 67, died peacefully in her sleep at Pavers Farm, Otterton, where she lived with her husband Tony, 69.

Married for 49 years, the pair met as teenagers at art college in Birmingham. Mr Jarvis said: “I was a Bathonian away from home, and she was from Birmingham.”

The pair raised four children, Timothy, 48, Sarah, 47, Hanna, 46, and Andrew, 43, and have 13 grandchildren. Mrs Jarvis is also survived by her three sisters, Kay, who lives in San Pedro, California; Judy, from Somerset, and Helen, in Brittany. Some of the family were staying on holiday when Mrs Jarvis died.

“Andrew and his youngest son, David, had just got back from cycling 3,000 miles around Europe,” said Mr Jarvis. “They got back early, so saw Marjorie one final time.”

Mrs Jarvis was involved with the first import of Texan Angoras in 1983, and she bred her own bloodlines from then on. “Her breeding has contributed very significantly to the British flock as a whole,” said Mr Jarvis.

She was the British Angora Goat Society’s second ever president in the 1990s and her work as international Angora judge and breeder took her all over the world and led to many adventures. This included driving from a friend’s home in Montreal in Canada to Rock Springs, Texas to buy some goats, then driving straight back.

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The couple’s membership of the worldwide Christadelphian community also gave them opportunity to travel.

Prior to moving to Devon 18 years ago, Mrs Jarvis had a heard of British Alpine milking goats at Brent Knoll, in Somerset.

Mr Jarvis said: “Her animal husbandry highlighted her ability with people. She gave a lot of people a lot of encouragement and joy.”

From a website selling items produced from Angoran mohair, the couple developed a physical presence for the business in Sidmouth, and opened the shop Caprafiba at The Back Yard, Cross Lane, Old Fore St in April 2009.

“The business gave Marjorie the opportunity to talk to visitors about her extensive knowledge of Angora goats,” said Mr Jarvis. A private burial will take place at Colyton on Monday, followed by a memorial service at Colyford Memorial Hall at 2.30pm.