Tributes have been paid to a Bradford nurse who raised thousands of pounds for charity, despite being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Karen Williams died peacefully surrounded by her family at her home in Great Horton, aged 54.
Her cousin, 54-year-old Russell Hastie, of Derby, led tributes on behalf of her family saying: “Karen battled bravely through her illness, and continued to live life to the full with energy and enthusiasm. Her love for her family was unwavering, and her charity work an example to us all.
“She will be sorely missed by everybody who crossed her path.
“In her work, and in her life, she showed great humanity in the troubles of others, and great courage in the face of her own. She was a beautiful, selfless lady, who touched a lot of lives with her love and generosity. To know her was to love her."
Mrs Williams’s diagnosis inspired her family and friends to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire, formerly Andrea's Gif,t and also Marie Curie Cancer Care.
In December last year Yorkshire Cricket Club aces joined Bradford City legends for a charity football match against Field FC at its ground in Hollingwood Lane, Lidget Green, to raise charity cash for her.
Bradford-born Yorkshire and England cricketer Anthony McGrath, who was on the Celebrity Legends XI, said: “It is very sad news. Karen was a great woman and it was a privilege to get involved and organise the charity football for her. It raised good money for the charity.”
Carol Robertson, fundraiser and charity development manager with BTRS, who knew Mrs Williams well, said: “She was a lovely lady. It is so sad. She fought on so valiantly and she never gave in.
“She was the most positive woman I have met in a long time. From her nursing background, she was a very caring lady and was strong emotionally. The disease overcame her.
“Her family did incredible fundraising including a charity football match and an auction and presentation night. The Fiddlers Three at Clayton supported us at Karen’s instigation.
“They are a fabulous family and must have raised going on for £10,000 over the years.”
Mrs Williams was a clinical nurse specialist for urology, when she retired due to ill health. She worked at Bradford Royal Infirmary for more than 35 years, first as a student nurse, then as a state- enrolled nurse in Accident and Emergency for 12 years, before her conversion to a registered general nurse.
“She worked on ward 20 for many years before ending up as Matron covering wards 20 and 21.”
She remained lifelong friends with Margaret Bissett and Wendy Edmondson, who she met at the age of 16 at pre-nursing college.
Mrs Bissett, who works at Eccleshill Community Hospital, said: “She lived these last two years unbelievably. She never once said ‘why me?’ She was a fantastic nurse, friend and mum.
“So many people knew her and those that met her fell in love with her.”
Mrs Williams leaves her mother Joyce, her husband Nigel, daughters Sophie and Faye and grandchildren George, Jaxon and William, her brother Chris and family.
A funeral service takes place at St James Parish Church, Thornton, on Friday at 2.15pm followed by cremation at Scholemoor Crematorium.
Her family has requested no dark clothing and invited people to wear an item of leopard print. Donations can be made to Brain Tumour Research and Support.