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THE news that Melksham Brenda Abbott has passed away has been met with shock and sadness in the town as many people pay tribute to her dedication to her family, friends and community.
Brenda was on holiday with friends in Portugal but was taken ill whilst playing golf. She died eight weeks later having suffered a heart attack and stroke – her body was repatriated last week.
Brenda’s daughter, Amanda Stonham-Abbott said, “She was always very fit and active and loved going on golf holidays with the girls. When she was taken ill it came as a terrible shock to us all. She was a wonderful and supportive mother to myself and my brother John Jnr, a great grandmother to her grandchildren and a loving wife of 57 years to my dad John. They shared a loving, fantastic marriage and were devoted to one another.”
Brenda won Melksham’s Person of the Year award in 2014 with Ann Peirce in recognition of their 30 years of charity work for Dorothy House. Together with Melksham Friends of Dorothy House, they raised over £300,000 for the charity.
Ann Pierce said, “I’d known Brenda many, many years and have always been good friends but we became a lot closer when we started fundraising for Dorothy House 30 years ago. Both myself and Brenda lost our sisters to cancer, mine wasn’t cared for by Dorothy House but Brenda’s was, and she wanted to give something back to the hospice because they were so wonderful when looking after her sister before she died. She wanted to make a difference and she most certainly did.
“She was a great lady; she was kind and caring and had so much sympathy for people. When you met her, you immediately felt comforted and at ease, she had a lovely warmth about her. She was such a wonderful friend to have and will be missed by so many people. She’s held in high esteem by a lot of people. I will miss her greatly, we had a great partnership, we bounced off of each other and drove each other forward. We had great fun.”
Emily Knight, events fundraiser at Dorothy House and close friend of Brenda said, “Brenda Abbott was one in a million. Over the years she and her great friend Ann Peirce, along with the Trowbridge and Melksham Friends of Dorothy House, raised an incredible £310,000 for the charity.
“Brenda was a caring, kind and compassionate lady who had a magnetic personality, a fantastic sense of humour and unbounded energy. Her dedication to her family, friends and the community was truly from the heart and she will be incredibly missed by us all. Her legacy lives on in the immeasurably positive impact she had on the patients and families cared for by Dorothy House.”