Joan Downes

Joan, Lady Downes (née Weston) (died 10 July 2009) was a British Royal Ballet dancer, choreographer and television producer and the wife of conductor Sir Edward Downes.
In recent years, Sir Edward had become almost blind and nearly deaf, increasingly relying on his wife for support. Lady Downes had devoted years to working as his assistant, but she was diagnosed shortly before her death with cancer of the liver and pancreas, and given only weeks to live.
The couple, who had been married for 54 years, decided to end their lives together through voluntary euthanasia ("assisted suicide") at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. They were reportedly accompanied by their children. Sir Edward Downes was 85 years old and Lady Joan was 74 years old. Their family released a statement, "After 54 happy years together they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems.
"They died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing ... hey both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally."
Joan Downes was the wife of the noted conductor, Sir Edward Downes; they had two children, a son, Caractacus (born December 1967), who is a musician and recording engineer, and a daughter, Boudicca, a video producer.
Sir Edward and Lady Joan Downes were survived by their children and grandchildren. The family said the couple had no religious beliefs, and there would be no funeral.
External links regarding the news reports of the deaths of Edward and Joan Downes
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