I was very sad to read on the EBU website that Elena Jeronimidis passed away on 22 September. Elena and her husband, Giorgio, were good friends during my twenty years living in the Reading area, all to do with playing bridge of course.
Elena was a modest club player, but only in the context of a strong Reading Bridge Club that boasted Eric Crowhurst as a regular player, Tim Rees and a host of international trialists. She was a good enough player to participate in the English Women team trials but was better known for her editorial skills, taking over the Bridge Plus magazine and running the EBU magazine, English Bridge, for eight years. She was awarded Life Membership of the EBU in 2015 for her work with the magazine. When I wanted to get a young Justin Lall published, I went straight to her.
Elena did not play bridge with Giorgio often and was happy that I took him off her hands for at least ten years. She was a very solid player, without the flights of fancy that afflicted her husband.
Her real love was her family. Like many I received the annual update at Christmas. Having married an engineer, it was clear that she was delighted that their two sons were more interested in one of her other great loves, drama. I met her mother many times, reinforcing my stereotype of Italian grandmothers; very friendly, teasing her grandchildren, and the fact that she could speak no English made no difference. The Jeronimidis household was always welcoming, despite the array of languages spoken: someone would ask a question in Italian and get answers in Italian, French and English (for me).
She had not been in good health for a while. But she remained your typical bridge player: her last email to me glossed over some health issues and asked for guidance about playing bridge on BBO; bridge players only really contact each other about bridge problems.
My thoughts go to Giorgio, sons Andrew and David and their families.
Elena’s biography (2013): https://www.ebu.co.uk/biographies/elena-jeronimidis