Family pays tribute to their fun-loving red head

A Fakenham woman who died in Kenya earlier this month will be remembered as a fun-loving red head who spent her life helping people.

Carole Hood died, aged 54, shortly after arriving in Kenya for what was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime with her husband of two years, Derick Hood, 50.

But she died on a coach in Mombasa, in the south of Kenya, travelling from the airport to the hotel she was due to stay at.

A post mortem showed that she suffered coronary heart failure due to a blood clot in her left artery.

Her death, on May 10, came as a complete shock to Mrs Hood's family as they believed that she was in good health.

They are waiting for the results of a second post mortem, which was carried out at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Monday.

Their grief has been compounded by the fact that it has taken a week to get Mrs Hood's body back home.

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Mr Hood, who met his wife on a blind date at Fakenham Conservative Club, and lived with her at Thorpland, Fakenham, said the delay was due to insurance complications and he stayed in Kenya to make sure he flew back home with her.

Mrs Hood's daughter, Melinda Pearce, 31, said: 'Mum spent her whole life helping people. She always put other people first, she would do anything for anyone.

'She was only about 5ft 2ins, but she had this bright red hair and really loud, infectious laugh.

Miss Pearce added: 'You couldn't keep mum off the dance floor and she actually won a dancing competition at a birthday party at Fakenham Racecourse, the night before she flew to Kenya.'

Mrs Hood, originally from Brent, Middlesex lived in Fakenham for the last 20 years.

She worked for Elizabeth FitzRoy Support for eight years providing practical support for adults with learning disabilities.

For the last four years she worked at The Maltings, Hall Staithe, Fakenham, and she had also previously worked at Fakenham's Linda McCartney Foods factory .

Mrs Hood is still known to many people as Carole Pearce, her name before her recent marriage.

Staff at The Maltings said in a statement: 'Carole was a hard working, big-hearted, supportive member of the team.

'One of Carole's greatest passions was gardening, and she spent a lot of time sharing her considerable skills and knowledge with the people she supported.

'She was integral part of starting the allotment last spring, and with out the considerable time and effort she donated the project would not have grown into the success it is today.

'She will be greatly missed for her sense of humour and caring nature by all of us.'

Mrs Hood also leaves behind two sons, Richard Pearce, 32, and Glenn Pearce, 27, two step daughters Jemma Hood, 23, and Stacey Hood, 19, and a step grandson Mark Hood, three.

Her family has made an open invitation to anyone who wants to attend her funeral, cremation and wake, which will be on Tuesday. <May 31>

The funeral service will be at St Peter and St Paul's Church, Fakenham, at 12pm, the cremation will be at the crematorium in King's Lynn at 1.45pm and the wake will be at Fakenham Conservative Club at around 3.30pm.

Mrs Hood's family want people to wear brightly coloured clothes, particularly red, to represent Mrs Hood's hair.

They do not want people to bring flowers but would prefer donations to Elizabeth FitzRoy Support.

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