Tributes to inspirational singing Sidmouth mum Karen

“I can see her up there, getting the angels organised and being the lead singer,” says husband.

TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ Sidmouth mum-of-two with a passion for singing who died suddenly last week.

Karen Colson, 48, of Lymebourne Park, “lived every day to the full” and “was always there for everyone”, her husband, Marc, said this week.

Karen, who was office manager at Sidmouth Health Centre, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2010 and hoped to have beaten the illness after undergoing treatment. She was taken ill last Monday and died on Tuesday, January 3. Tests revealed the cancer had returned.

Marc, 44, has thanked Sidmouth residents who have shown “overwhelming” support to Karen’s family, including sons Dan, 20, and Matt, 17.

“When you think about how many people she’s known, and who loved her, it’s mind blowing,” said Marc.

“As a family unit we loved her to bits.

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“She lived every day to the full. Right up to the end she was and inspiration.”

The couple had been together for 25 years.

Karen was a valued member of Sidmouth Arts Club Operatic Society and featured in a host of shows, most recently Iolanthe, at the Manor Pavilion Theatre.

“I can see her up there, getting the angels organised and being the lead singer,” said Marc.

“Whenever there was a piano she would be right there, singing away.”

He added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the huge love and respect, the friendship and kindness that people have shown to our family. We’ve had so much support, from young and old, it’s just been amazing - but that’s Sidmouth for you. We’re so grateful – it’s really helping us and giving us lots of strength.”

Marc said of Karen’s unexpected death: “As far as I’m aware there were no indications. From what I understand, nothing would have changed the outcome. It was an unusual return of the cancer. It’s such an awful disease.”

Speaking on behalf of all staff at Sidmouth Health Centre, where Karen worked for 14 years and was office manager for three, GP Sara Hadfield said: “She was held in very high regard by us all. If you wanted something doing, Karen had already done it. She’ll be sadly missed, not only as a colleague, but as a friend.”

Karen’s funeral will take place today at Sidmouth Parish Church.

Donations in her memory can be made to FORCE and the Sidmouth Health Centre Equipment Fund.