Tribute to Pat Coles
12/11/2008: A BRIXINGTON super-gran diagnosed with terminal cancer who defied her illness by organising a whirlwind of charity events to help other sufferers has died. Selfless Pat Coles, of Pines Road, died on November 6 surrounded by her family.
12/11/2008: A BRIXINGTON super-gran diagnosed with terminal cancer who defied her illness by organising a whirlwind of charity events to help other sufferers has died.
Selfless Pat Coles, of Pines Road, died on November 6 surrounded by her family. The grandmother-of-three had been battling a brave fight against a gall bladder tumour, which had spread.
In true Pat nature - determined until the end - she died on her and husband John's 43rd wedding anniversary.
Pat's daughter Lynn Tanton, 40, of Marpool Crescent, this week paid tribute to the woman her family called an 'excellent' mother, wife, grandmother and Exmouth-born 'dancing queen'.
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"She fought the cancer for longer than they gave her, said Lynn. "She was quite poorly but she waited until her wedding anniversary. It was quite poignant and lovely for dad. We gave her and dad cards, although she was unconscious and wasn't aware.
"She was such fun. Everyone will remember her for her laughter. She had quite a cackle on her. She was always happy and thinking of others."
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The Brixington grandmother, who was diagnosed with cancer in December 2007 after collapsing while Christmas shopping, was first featured in the Journal in April when daughter Lynn and granddaughter Danielle brought forward their summer birthday celebrations so Pat could join in.
The joint 21st and 40th Pavilion birthday bashes soon became fundraisers for Cancer Research UK and Force - two charities who helped Pat during her illness.
Scores of friends, family and local businesses helped raise more than £4,300 - turning the party into a triple celebration.
In April 2008 Pat, a founder of the Instep dancing team - raising cash for charity by dancing for care homes - told the Journal: "The only way to find a cure for others is by raising funds."
Daughter Lynn said the fundraising for ot her sufferers was one of the legacies her mother had left behind.
Pat was a wonderful and loyal friend to us and our family for many years but we will mostly remember her for her sense of fun and truly unique laugh. Pat has been so brave over the last twelve months, battling her cancer with a positive and open attitude which helped everyone around her. Never once did we hear her say "why me?" In some ways we, her family & friends, had a wonderful year with her as she reached each milestone, raising money for charity and doing all she was determined to achieve. She was an inspiration to us all and we will miss her but know she will be with us in spirit (taking photos) at all our family occasions both here in Exmouth and the USA. Love you Pat
Chris & Ray xx
I have known Pat since I was 5, she was my mum's best friend. She was more like a sister to her and like an aunty to my sister and I. She was a very special lady, full of fun with a very special laugh you would never forget. Pat was a very big part of our lives. I will never forget the great time we had on holiday in Tenerife with my mum, sister, me and Pat, we never stopped laughing. Rest in peace Pat. God bless you. I will miss you so much xx
I remember Pat from the late eighties. I was working in a dull and dreary office job....but when Pat came to join the team, she bought with her, her amazing laughter and zest for life. The office was never quite the same again! Her grandaughter was quite young then, still in a buggy if I remember rightly. Pat absolutely doted on her. An amazing lady, the life and soul of any party, and completely selfless. You'll be sadly missed Pat, by everyone who's lives you've touched and made better. I'll join Teresa and raise my glass to you. Maxine xxx
My family and I were extremely saddened by the loss of Pat. She was a great lady and we enjoyed her company immensely when she & John would visit us in the States with Chris and Ray Haydon and when we would visit the UK on and off over the last 40 years. My whole family always had great fun together with Pat and John and have wonderful memories of our times together. I had known Pat since childhood as my sister Chris and brother Ron had grown up in Exmouth on the same street as Pat. She will certainly be missed and our hearts go out to John and his family at this very sad time. God bless
David Lavis and family
Pat was a very special lady - always laughing and smiling and having fun! I will miss her, we had some great times and it was lovely to spend her last week with us all together - she will be watching us all i'm sure! So I will raise my glass to her - love you Pat x x x