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Lin and Joan: Inseparable sisters died weeks apart

Linda Kuypers and Joan Hardy worked both worked at the British Medical Association for decades

06 September, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Lin Kuypers and Joan Hardy

TWO sisters who spent their lives together, living a street apart and working in the same place for decades, have died within weeks of each other.

Joan Hardy, 61, suffered a heart attack last week, just three days after talking to the New Journal to help with an obituary of her older sister, Linda Kuypers. Linda, 65, known as Lin, had died at the end of July after battling cancer for 19 years.

Her son, Jon Bass, said: “They were inseparable in life, also in death. They did everything together – dinner on a Friday eve­ning, lunch every day and shopping on a Saturday.” The sisters, who grew up with parents Ethel and Harry, a postman, in Char­rington Street, Somers Town, both attended Edith Neville Primary School and then Haverstock School.

They spent most of their working lives at the British Medical Association in Tavistock Square: Joan was manager of its secretarial staff for 45 years, while Lin had 37 years of service in different roles. After work, they would have a drink together in Mabel’s Tavern in Euston before heading home: Joan to her place in Eversholt Street, Lin to hers in nearby Doric Way.

In their free time, they went to the theatre and Chelsea matches. Days before her own death, Joan told the New Journal: “There was no real reason we all began working there. I guess Lin was attracted to it because of the short distance from home. It was local. “She liked it so I followed suit. We made lifelong friends there.”

Talking about Lin, Joan added: “We weren’t just sisters, we were like best friends. We are all going to miss her more than words can say. She was such a big part of our family. I can’t quite take it all in.”

Joan had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and had described it as a “nightmare period” for the family. Together, the sisters used to enjoy going to Il Divo concerts, lunch at Greek restaurant Daphne’s in Bayham Street and holidays in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta with Peter, Linda’s husband of 25 years.

“She [Lin] could speak and write in French and Spanish, which was always helpful because languages weren’t my thing,” Joan had said before Lin’s death. “She was a very intelligent, astute person and interested in politics. We would have some great conversations.”


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