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Tributes paid to Oakham woman

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Tributes have been paid to an 'outstanding and loving woman' who touched the hearts of many people in the community.

Crowds poured into the streets of Oakham on Thursday last week (October 6) to pay their respects to 37-year-old Emma Wolfenden who died in June.

Thought of by the family as a princess, horse drawn carriages with purple plumes, Emma's favourite colour, took the coffin to All Saints' Church.

The funeral procession for Emma Wolfenden
The funeral procession for Emma Wolfenden

Emma's older brother, Charles, said: "Emma spent most of her life in Rutland so the funeral had such a big turn out because she got to know a lot of people.

"The turn out at the funeral was just a small amount of the people whose lives' she had touched, we had lots of tributes on Facebook and messages from people who couldn't make it.

"We were overwhelmed as a family at how many people came out, some people we hadn't seen in 20-odd years.

Emma Wolfenden
Emma Wolfenden

"It was really humbling and a testament to how loved she was.

"I think she would have loved that so many people were there."

Emma, along with her mum and dad, Anne and Michael, and siblings Charles and Laura, moved from Guildford to Rutland in 1989.

Since then she made a number of friends within the community both in her adult life and while a pupil at Catmose College.

Emma Wolfenden
Emma Wolfenden

"She had a great sense of humour. She would light up any room she walked into and definitely had a presence about her - you knew when she was about," said Charles.

"As well as that she was kind and loving, she would do anything she could for people."

Charles remembers while Emma was growing up she would listen to all types of music but particularly loved 'diva' songs by empowered female artists, as well as enjoying horse riding and playing the oboe in her spare time.

The funeral procession for Emma Wolfenden
The funeral procession for Emma Wolfenden

Caring for others was at the centre of Emma's life, having been a carer for disadvantaged children for many years and working with people battling substance abuse. She was also due to start a qualification in social care.

Earlier this year Emma spent three months in hospital following an incident which required her to be put in an induced coma and have several operations.

However, after leaving the hospital Charles said that determined Emma made a quick recovery as she was keen to immerse herself back into life.

Emma Wolfenden
Emma Wolfenden

"The day Emma came out was wonderful," he said.

"But after two-and-a-half months there was a complication, which is still being looked into, and she passed away.

"The nice thing was that during that time she saw everyone she needed to see - it was magical almost like she was given another chance to say goodbye."

Charles added: "She had a beautiful last two months before she passed.

"She was so switched on to life so it was a tragedy."

Following the death of his beloved sister, Charles set up a JustGiving page to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society, a cause close to Emma's heart after her mum passed away from the disease at just 61-years-old.

To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emmawolfenden.

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