Tributes after death of town figures
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