KAREN Lloyd was always known for making a memorable entrance, cracking her share of smiles under any circumstances and her own funeral was no exception to her life-long rule.
The mother-of-two and latte enthusiast’s natural ability to surprise and amaze was well and truly alive as she was ushered into Christ Church in Old Town in a custom-designed Costa Coffee coffin to the groove of the Bee Gees’ More Than A Woman – a last wink at her notorious addiction to the chain’s hot drinks.
Karen, or Moosie as she was lovingly nicknamed by her husband Alan, died at Prospect Hospice on Tuesday, February 4 – six months after being diagnosed with stage three cancer.
Through the months of chemotherapy and invasive treatment and despite doctors’ terminal prognosis, she rarely allowed herself to shed tears.
Paying tribute to the 51-year-old on behalf of her family and close friends, the Reverend Captain Clive Deverell described Karen as an outspoken mother devoted to her sons with a strong penchant for shopping and an enviable shoe collection.
“She loved being with her friends and families and she had great friends,” he said. “She was a loving mum to her two sons Harry and Eddie. And of course there was Costa, shopping, Costa, shopping and I forgot to say, Costa and shopping.
“She really liked getting herself ready and was always immaculate. If they were going to go on holiday and wanted to arrive on time, Alan’s trick was to set all the clocks in the house one hour early. ”
A woman with a big personality, she never failed to embarrass her sons at basketball games by berating the flummoxed referree.
In June last year, Karen, above, was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after a mass half the size of her breast was spotted by specialists at the Great Western Hospital. She immediately received a course of chemotherapy.
Always the optimist, she treated her diagnosis as an opportunity to raise funds for the hospital’s breast cancer unit. In November she started experiencing debilitating headaches and uncontrollable bouts of sickness.
This forced surgeons to cancel an operation to remove the mass on her breast and Karen to postpone the post-surgery ‘boob’ party she had planned.
On December 12, she discovered the cancer had spread to her spine and was given between two weeks and two months to live.
A week later, she was admitted to Prospect Hospice where she died on February 4.
Throughout her illness she showed tremendous courage, however.
“Her humour and her fortitude were impressive,” added Rev Capt Deverell.
“She is making the baristas in heaven’s lives rather difficult with her one-shot extra hot skinny lattes.”
Karen leaves two sons Harry, 19, and Eddie, 15, and husband Alan. The family is encouraging those who knew her to make a donation to Prospect in her memory.