Elizabeth M. Lygo, 81:Talented singer who entertained the queen

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CUMBERLAND — Elizabeth Mary Lygo, 81, died Jan. 3, after a short battle with leukemia, at her Cumberland home, surrounded by loved ones.

She was born in London, England, July 22, 1934, to Lionel and Lillian Smith.

Lygo won a scholarship to Sutton High School, where she enjoyed singing, dancing and acting, taking lead roles in many Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Later she studied singing grand opera professionally and went on to sing with the Bach Choir in the Royal Albert Hall and with the Philharmonic Choir in the Sydney Opera House.

Lygo studied at Guys Hospital in London, qualifying in 1955 as a member of the Chartered Society of Physical Therapy. She subsequently practiced in London, Hong Kong and Australia.

In 1957 she married Gordon Thompson, whom she divorced five years later.

She married Arthur John Derek Lygo in 1961. He was an ambitious entrepreneur and life was never dull. The couple had four children and seven homes in England in five years before moving to Hong Kong in 1971.

Lygo entertained Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 1978 at the opening of the first container terminal port, Modern Terminals Ltd, built in Hong Kong, of which Derek Lygo was the CEO.

After a failed retirement venture in Brisbane, Australia, she divorced in 1987. Lygo went back into private practice for 10 years in Brisbane and Sydney. She moved to Maine in 1998 to be close to her daughter and grandchildren.

Lygo was a member of Saint Mary the Virgin Church, where she sang with the choir  and volunteered with the Flower & Memorial Guild and the soup kitchen. She also volunteered at Maine Medical Center, home care and hospice.

Lygo became a member of the Choral Arts Society Masterworks Choir in 1999. She also became a familiar face on local TV commercials.

She survived colon cancer and two strokes with courage and dignity.

The family would like to thank Lygo’s caregivers.

She is survived by three daughters, Clare Lygo Yarn, of Cumberland, Fiona Jane Lygo, of Devon, England, and Penelope Kim Lygo, of London; a son, Andrew Derek Lygo, of Gold Coast, Australia; six grandchildren, Lucy and Tiffany Watson, Taylor and A.J. Yarn and Cooper and Hunter Lygo.

A memorial service will be held at Saint Mary the Virgin Church, 43 Foreside Road, Falmouth at 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 16, followed by a reception in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary’s Church.