Fundraiser was a ‘true inspiration’
6:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Latest News
TRIBUTES have been paid to Helen Straker who lost her battle with cancer.
Mrs Straker, wife of Devizes estate agent Gordon Straker and owner of the Bear Hotel in Devizes, died on Saturday at Dorothy House Hospice, aged 62.
Mrs Straker helped to raise thousands of pounds over the years for charities, including Bath Cancer Research, at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and Dorothy House Hospice, where she was on the Friends committee.
The fundraising included clay pigeon shoots held at Mr and Mrs Straker’s home in Potterne and in 2009 a demonstration by cookery writer Mary Berry at the Cheverell furniture showroom on Hopton Industrial Estate.
Mrs Straker, who was a Lady Lion, never liked to be in the spotlight and wanted her charity work to do the talking.
Jane Burton, a Devizes town councillor and friend of Mrs Straker, said: “Helen was an absolutely wonderful woman. She did an awful lot to raise money for cancer charities. She was so, so elegant.”
Katrina Sudbury, director of fundraising and communications at Dorothy House Hospice, said Mrs Straker was a founding member of the Devizes Friends group of Dorothy House.
She said: “Helen was a wonderful friend of Dorothy House. With the constant support of her husband, Gordon, her friends and business associates, she was a tireless fundraiser for Dorothy House. She had tremendous enthusiasm and friendliness for everything she did.
“She had a special blend of courage, fortitude and warmth and we send our condolences to her family. We will miss her.”
The Union flag at the Bear Hotel in Devizes has been flying at half mast in tribute to Mrs Straker.
Mrs Straker’s family said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Helen Straker at Dorothy House Hospice on September 7; a peaceful end to a brave journey, lasting 13 years and nine months. Helen faced it with great courage and determination and was a true inspiration, touching the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to meet her.
“A dedicated charity worker and Lady Lion, Helen was an incredibly kind and loving wife, mother, sister and grandmother. She leaves behind a huge void in the lives of all her family and friends, but also a wonderful legacy and so many fond memories.
“The family would like to give their heartfelt thanks to the wonderful staff at Dorothy House and would request that all donations go to the Dorothy House Hospice in Winsley.”
A memorial service will be held on Thursday September 19 at 2.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Potterne.