Shock death of mum and charity champion

A woman with “an unbelievable personality”, who spent her life helping others, collapsed and died after going to the aid of a colleague at the Asda store where she worked.

Wednesday, 28th October 2015, 9:58 am
Michelle Holmes (s)

Mrs Michelle Holmes (46) is believed to have suffered a brain hemorrahage after going to help a co-worker who had also collapsed at the Princess Way supermarket last Friday morning.

The mum-of-one was rushed to the Royal Blackburn Hospital but never regained consciousness and was pronounced on Saturday – exactly 27 years after meeting her husband David.

Mr Holmes (44), who works at Veka in Burnley, said he was still in shock and felt numb.

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“One of the porters who worked at Asda had collapsed and Michelle went to help but she collapsed at the same time with a massive brain hemorrhage. The ambulance took her to hospital but obviously she wasn’t going to survive.

“We had been married for 21 years but the day she died was 27 years to the day that we met in 1988.

“It’s ironic that she helped people all her life and that’s how she died,” he said.

Mrs Holmes had worked at Asda for 12 years and in that time held various job titles but one of her main responsibilities was to allocate the supermarket’s charity cash to deserving causes in Burnley. In the last 12 months she had helped to distribute £50,000 to charities and community groups in the Burnley area.

Mr Holmes said his wife, who loved shopping, had an infectious laugh and always had a smile on her face.

“Her personality was unbelievable. She always had a smile on her face no matter what. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I keep expecting her to walk through the door and say the vacuuming needs doing. She was very houseproud the house was always immaculate and she always got what she wanted.”

The couple, of Berwick Drive, Burnley, who have a son Aiden (22), had recently enjoyed a holiday to Menorca.

“She loved her holidays, we went to Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Egypt, Tunisia. Everywhere the sun was she wanted to go, even though she was afraid of flying.”

Mr Holmes said he has been inundated with messages of condolence with hundreds of people taking to his wife’s Facebook page to share their memories of her.

“I put a post on Facebook about Michelle and the response was phenomenal.

“I’m very very proud of her. I knew she was well liked but I didn’t realise how many people’s lives she touched.”

Mrs Holmes’s funeral will take place on Tuesday with the cortege stopping at Asda for her colleagues to pay their respects. Her favourite song “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” by Viola Wills will also be played to mourners and Mr Holmes said he expects hundreds of people to turn out to say their farewells.