Trib­utes af­ter death of town fig­ures

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

A REV­EREND has spo­ken of his shock af­ter his wife died a week af­ter be­ing ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with a per­fo­rated bowel.

Di­ane Smith, from Ac­cring­ton, had been bat­tling breast can­cer for two years but was taken to Royal Black­burn Hos­pi­tal on Oc­to­ber 14 with the un­re­lated con­di­tion.

She un­der­went surgery and stayed on the in­ten­sive care unit but passed away on Oc­to­ber 21 aged 52.

The pop­u­lar cho­ris­ter was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer which had spread to her bones in 2016 and was given a five-year prog­no­sis af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery, ra­dio­ther­apy and chemo­ther­apy.

Her hus­band Rev Steve Smith said: “It was very un­ex­pected and very sud­den. She had a per­fo­rated bowel from which she got sep­sis.

“It was a tough blow to take be­cause we had both got our heads round the can­cer and what it meant.

“The prog­no­sis was five years and the treat­ment she was un­der for it was go­ing very well and there was no signs of the can­cer be­com­ing any worse.

“Then for her to be taken for some­thing com­pletely un­re­lated is such a shock and very sad. It was very un­ex­pected and very sud­den.”

Di­ane, of Gayle Way, worked at five dif­fer­ent so­lic­i­tors firms from 1992 to 2018 spe­cial­is­ing in im­mi­gra­tion and asy­lum law and last worked at Wat­son Rams­bot­tom.

The true crime doc­u­men­tary fan also sang in church choirs in­clud­ing St Pe­ter’s Ac­cring­ton, St James Church Kirk and St Mary Mag­da­lene’s Ac­cring­ton.

Rev Steve Smith, a for­mer adult al­tar server at St James Church Kirk, met Di­ane 18 months af­ter mov­ing to Ac­cring­ton in 1993 and was mar­ried to her for 21 years.

He said: “She was a very car­ing per­son. She could cer­tainly make her point known when she wanted to but on the whole she was a fairly re­served per­son. What­ever she did she re­ally threw her­self into it 100 per cent.

“Apart from the study for her ca­reer she had lots of dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests and would study cour­ses in as­tron­omy and foren­sics with the Open Univer­sity.

“One of her great loves was ele­phants. The house is full of pic­tures, stuffed or­na­ments, clothes, bags and purses and if it didn’t have ele­phants on then it in­vari­ably had Win­nie the Pooh on in­stead.

“She also had a very close re­la­tion­ship with her mum and would call her on a daily ba­sis.”

MRS Di­ane Eliz­a­beth Smith, of Gayle Way, Ac­cring­ton, died at Royal Black­burn Hos­pi­tal, on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 21, aged 52.

She worked at Bar­low Row­land So­lic­i­tors for five years from 1982 to 1987, Rams­bot­tom and Co So­lic­i­tors for nine years from 1987 to 1996, then three years at Far­leys So­lic­i­tors from 1996 to 1999, two years at Swital­skis So­lic­i­tors from 2002 to 2004 and for the last 14 years she worked at Wat­son Rams­bot­tom So­lic­i­tors.

Di­ane was a mem­ber of the church choir at St Pe­ter’s Church in Ac­cring­ton, St James’ Church Kirk, St Mary Mag­dalen’s in Ac­cring­ton, and St Anne’s Par­ish Church, St Annes on Sea.

In her spare time she en­joyed knit­ting, read­ing, cross stitch and colour­ing and she loved ele­phants as well as true life crime doc­u­men­taries on TV.

Wife of Steve, she was daugh­ter of Eliz­a­beth, and sis­ter to Gary, Gra­ham, Ian, Stephen and Julie.

Her fu­neral will take place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 2, at St Mary Mag­dalen’s Church at 12noon, of­fi­ci­ated by Fa­ther Lawrence Featham, fol­lowed by in­ter­ment at Ac­cring­ton Ceme­tery at 1.30pm.

Fam­ily flow­ers only please, do­na­tions are re­quested to the Pink Rib­bon Foun­da­tion.

Fu­neral di­rec­tor: Wol­sten­holme Fu­neral Ser­vice.

● Di­ane Eliz­a­beth Smith

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