'She was a guardian angel' - family of Michelle Kiss pay emotional tribute

Michelle enjoyed a full life packed with family activities (L-R Dylan, Michelle, Millie, Tony, Elliot
Michelle enjoyed a full life packed with family activities (L-R Dylan, Michelle, Millie, Tony, Elliot

A Ribble Valley mum  who devoted her life to caring for her family and friends was a "guardian angel" who must have protected her daughter in the Manchester bomb blast, says her devastated husband.

Tony Kiss, 45, has paid emotional tribute to his wife and mother of three Michelle Kiss, 45, after she was killed along with 21 other victims in the terrorist atrocity at the Manchester Arena.

Michelle and Tony got married in 1995 in Barbados

Michelle and Tony got married in 1995 in Barbados

Tony told how 12-year-old Millie and her friend Emily had had a great night at the Ariana Grande concert when their two mums, Ruth and Michelle collected them in the foyer of the Arena.

He said: "Michelle had been floating on air that night, she just looked angelic. The girls had a brilliant night full of laughter. They all went to Pizza Express for a meal before the concert. Ruth and Michelle dropped the girls at the Manchester Arena and went to the Hard Rock Cafe for mocktails.

"She was really happy and she just looked beautiful. My last image of her as she left for the concert was that she was walking on cloud nine.

"She was so selfless. Even on her way to pick up the girls she was texting a friend to see if she needed help and giving money to homeless people."

Tributes have flooded in for devoted mother Michelle Kiss

Tributes have flooded in for devoted mother Michelle Kiss

The father later learned that his wife had been killed instantly in the attack, which also seriously injured their close family friends Ruth and Emily Murrell, who are still in hospital but are "on the mend."

Millie miraculously escaped physical injury - a fact which Tony believes was due to Michelle's protection.

Tony said: "All three of them are going to take years to process the horrors of what they saw that night. But I'm confident that, with the people here to support us, we will get through it. I want Ruth and Emily and all of their family to know that we're here for them as well."

The heartbroken father, who was married to Michelle for over 20 years, first learned of the attack after his son Elliot woke him to tell him the news.

Millie was pictured thanking the police officer who helped return her to her father on the night of the attacks

Millie was pictured thanking the police officer who helped return her to her father on the night of the attacks

He said: "I'd gone to bed as I had to be up early for work and Elliot came in and panicked. He told me there'd been a bomb. Your first thoughts are it's not going to be us. It's going to be alright. Just calm down. Unfortunately, the reality is that it was us.

"I did numerous trips to Manchester that night trawling around hospitals. When I went to pick Millie up, she gave the police officer a big hug to say thanks for bringing me back to dad. That's when her picture was taken cuddling the police officer.

"I brought Millie back home and already the support had started. There were people who came round and it meant I could leave Millie, although I really didn't want to because she was in serious shock. But I had to go and look for Michelle. We went around all the hospitals and called the helplines and we were getting nowhere.

"But then the Family Liaison Officers got in touch and things started to happen - they have been brilliant. I really can't thank everyone enough, we've had so much help."

Michelle lived in Leyland until the age of 10 when she moved with her family to Lammack in Blackburn. She met her husband at school and worked alongside him running their business TNT Scaffolding. The family moved to Whalley in 2004 where Michelle was regularly seen walking her beloved pug dog Elvis and chatting to other dog walkers.

The former Notre Dame High school student is said to have "lived for her family" and spent much of her time taking her son Elliot, 17 to basket ball matches, Dylan, 20, to football games and her daughter Millie to her acting, dance and drama classes and performances.

Her children Dylan, Elliot and Millie said: "Our mum was the most loving, kind, giving woman that everyone knows and loves. She was the most devoted mother to us all. She would always go the extra mile for us. She was our rock."

Michelle was also a loving daughter to Mick and Christine Thompson and big sister to Nichola Leigh.

Mum Christine said: "We will love and miss her for the rest of our lives which will never be the same without her. We are so proud of our beautiful loving and selfless daughter. Michelle was a loving mum to Dylan, Elliot and Millie and an excellent wife to Tony I'm so happy for her that she was so happy with her life. She wanted to share it with everyone."

Sister Nichola said: "Michelle is the best friend and sister anybody could ever ask for. Always caring and non judgmental saw the best in everyone. I am so proud of the person she was. She was an amazing mum to her three children and amazing wife to Tony. The perfect family. Her legacy will live on through her family and we will miss her terribly."

The popular Whalley resident was a keen concert goer and enjoyed seeing shows and concerts all over the country including Take That - who she first saw in Earl's Court with her husband - Simply Red, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, The School of Rock and Mamma Mia.

Michelle was a frequent visitor to the MEN Arena and had previously seen Elton John, Jamiroquai and the Scissor Sisters at the concert venue.

The tributes in Full

Our mum was the most loving, kind, giving woman that everyone knows and loves. She was the most devoted mother to us all. She would always go the extra mile for us. She was our rock.

Dylan, Elliot and Millie Kiss

It is said that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But I'd like to believe that time is a companion that goes with us on a journey, reminds us to cherish every moment because they won't come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. Rest peacefully Michelle.

Your loving husband, Tony Kiss

Michelle, we will love and miss you for the rest of our lives which will never be the same. We are so proud of our beautiful, loving and selfless daughter. Michelle was a
loving mum to Dylan, Elliot and Millie and an excellent wife to Tony. She was a most loyal sister to Nichola and a loving and caring auntie to Ethan and Ellis and as we always ended our evening phone calls and texts - “night night god bless”. Love you - god has you in his keeping. We have you in our hearts. Until we meet again love mum and dad.

Christine and Mick Thompson

My daughter in law Michelle was the light and love of her family. A mother hen to all her children. My son Tony's wife and sweetheart. An inspiration to everyone who knew and loved her. May angels guard, guide and protect us all.

Jean

Michelle, fly high precious angel. - your open wings will always protect your family. We will never forget your smiling eyes and your high wedge shoes and your love for all.

Tina

We talked to Michelle only a fortnight ago and what we thought about her then was the same as when we first met 20 years ago - that she was a great mum and wife who got an enormous amount of joy from her family.

Janet and David Ryden

My name is Caroline and Michelle was my loyal friend and confidant for ten years. I feel our time has been cut short but I'm blessed to have had her in our lives for those years. We had many experiences during that time. We laughed we cried, we disagreed we laughed some more. Michelle was the friendliest sweetest most comprehensive and humble person I've ever met. Always worrying about the welfare of others and never wanting to let anyone down. I thank you Michelle for those years of friendship you gave me. Thank you for everything you did for me. I love you with all my hear and I will always remember you.

Caroline Yates and family

We have lost one of our dearest friends and words seem so feeble at a time like this. There have been lots of memories together we have taken for granted because we have assumed there would be many more. Michelle was such a kind and caring gentle person and we were lucky to have you in our lives. Your family will not be alone as long as we are around. Your death leaves a heartache but your love has left memories no one can steal. We will cherish your memory and it will live on through your beautiful children. They continue to do you proud.

Angela and Bernie, Sue and Garth and families

Although I am so sorry to have lost you it has been a privilege to have known you. You came into my life 35 years ago and we formed a special bond like sisters. We shared so much and were together through laughter and tears. I will always cherish my fond memories of you Michelle. My beautiful friend.

Dawn

Michelle was not just our cousin she was our best friend. An amazing beautiful lady with a big heart . We are privileged to have had her in our lives and will treasure all the wonderful memories we have . Michelle was godmother to our son Lewis , she always encouraged him to do his best at everything he did, as she loved her children she loved him dearly too.

Wendy, Gary and Lewis

We feel truly blessed to have known and loved such a happy, kind and lovely friend. We're so sorry that we've all lost her. We'll miss her so much but we will always be grateful for the special times we shared with Michelle and her wonderful family. Our memories of her friendship and her love will always make us smile.

Rest in peace Michelle.

Mark, Nikki, Lizzy and Sam Dixon

Michelle was the most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure to know, a true Angel. Never once in all the time I knew her did I hear her moan or complain. She was so loyal and true and certainly lived life to the full, our Manchester trips will always bring me very fond memories.

Her family were her life, which makes what has happened so difficult to bear. She really was a true, loyal, beautiful, loving, caring, and amazing woman who will be missed by everyone she touched. Sleep with the Angels Michelle, because you were one. Will miss and love you always.

The Shaw family.

Even though, only having known Michelle for a short time, it seems so much longer. She was such a lovely, kind, caring, genuine person who adored and spoke very highly of her family, and who enjoyed musicals, loved tapas and of course her wedges!! I am so glad I got the opportunity to meet Michelle as we had many laughs, especially in London. You will be truly missed but never forgotten.

R.I.P Michelle lots of love Mandy and Ian

I met Michelle as a school mum. She was half way through her 14 year stint of school runs at St Mary’s. We started off running then over the years slowed down to walking with the dogs – all the time talking and sharing our news –so often about the children. Family always at the centre of everything. Michelle was a warm, kind and positive person always ready to step in and help others. It is so sad that we have lost her but I am so happy to have known her. Rest in Peace Michelle.

Jo, Keith, James and Hugh Melling

Michelle was truly a lovely person. I feel blessed to have known her and to have shared many funny and serious chats outside St Mary's school gates. She will live on through her beautiful children. Always remembered. With much love.

Annie, Michael & Rebecca Ramsden

I met Michelle at St Mary's where our children went to school. We became friends and used to enjoy walking our dogs together. We also had some great nights out and trips to the Christmas markets. Michelle was such a lovely person, kind and sweet and great fun to be with. Her family were her whole life, she was a wonderful mum. Beautiful inside and out. I will miss you Michelle and will never forget you xxx

Adelle Devlin

We only knew Michelle for about a year. During this time we met up twice to take our dogs for walk and to have a pub meal. So there was Michelle, Tony, Millie and Elvis, and Karen, myself and Lulu.
To be in Michelle's company was easy with light hearted conversation and she always had a happy face.
She was so proud of her family and it meant everything to her.
Conversation was usually about the boys, Millie and Tony but she also was interested and wanted to know about our lives as well.
A totally dedicated wife and mum. And a good friend to many.
Michelle, we will miss you and we're honoured to be friends with you.

Love Darren, Karen and Lulu