TRIBUTES have been paid to a newlywed Ilkeston mum described as ‘inspirational’ and ‘the life and soul of the party.’
The heartbroken husband and family of Claire Mee (nee Hufton) spoke to the Advertiser this week after the 43-year-old mum of one lost her battle with cancer earlier this month.
Tragically Claire passed away only two months after marrying her husband Gary, leaving her 15-year-old son Rian, her parents, two brothers and a sister and nephews and nieces.
Speaking about the wedding day in Apirl, Gary said: “We had such an amazing day, she was laughing, joking, she loved every minute of it.
“That was probably her last good day, before then you would never have even known she was ill.
“Her courage was just inspirational, you would never believe it. She’d be hooked up to machines and look up at me to check I was alright.”
Her sister Andrea added: “If you didn’t know you wouldn’t have known she was ill, she got on with things as normal.
“The wedding was so lovely, it was amazing. We’re so glad she had her day and we had ours too.
“Unfortunately, because of the cancer, she never got her honeymoon.”
Claire’s mum and dad, Andy and Doreen, described how everyone knew their popular daughter.
“You couldn’t get through Ilkeston Market Place in less than five minutes with our Claire,” the couple told the Advertiser. “Everybody knew her and everybody loved her.”
And her brother, Craig, added: “She worked in cafés and shops in the town. Everybody knew her for her legs and her smile. Someone said to her once, you’re all gob and legs, and she was.”
Claire’s funeral takes place on Tuesday June 28 at Park Road cemetery.
A horse drawn hearse will travel through Larklands, Kirk Hallam, past the Rutland Rec, through Bath Street and onto Station Road.
Andrea added: “We know so many people knew and liked Claire and it seemed a nice idea that people could pay their respects to her this way.
“We’re expecting a lot for the funeral, we always promised her a good send off.”
Claire’s colleagues at Heron Foods, Bath Street have already raised £420 towards a bench in her memory.