Shock death of devoted Burnley mother and wife

TRAGEDY: Mrs Karen Collins with her husband Martin
TRAGEDY: Mrs Karen Collins with her husband Martin

A DEVOTED Burnley wife and mum-of-two who lived for her family, collapsed and died while preparing to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The family of “loving and bubbly” Mrs Karen Collins (50), who lived in Halifax Road, Briercliffe, has been left devastated following her shock death.

Paramedics were called to the house around 7pm on Monday but Mrs Collins was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Her husband Mr Martin Collins (53), who owns Martin Collins Joinery and Glazing, said her death had left a major gap in their lives.

Less than a week before her death, qualified cook Mrs Collins had hosted Christmas dinner for 21 members of her family, including her husband to whom she had been married for almost 30 years, and their children Emma (24) and Joe (19).

One of five children, Mrs Collins was born and brought up in Burnley. After leaving Ivy Bank High School she trained as a cook and worked at Burnley General Hospital as well as other hospitals in the area.

She had her children and went on to work for her husband’s business. She enjoyed travelling with her husband, particularly holidays to Tenerife and cruises and they had recently returned from a trip to Goa.

But Mr Collins said she was happiest at home with her family and had a wide circle of friends who often filled the house.

“She was incredibly family-oriented and looked after everybody,” he said. Nothing can ever replace her but we have a large and very supportive family surrounding us.”

Joe, who also works for the family business, added: “Mum and dad would do everything together.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised but a Requiem Mass will be held at St John the Baptist RC Church, in Ivy Street, Burnley, before burial at Burnley Cemetery. Enquiries can be made to Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, in Rossendale Road.

A post-mortem examination to find out how Mrs Collins died was due to take place yesterday.

As well as her husband and children, Mrs Collins also leaves her parents Mr and Mrs Doug and Jean Allan and four brothers.