Teaching assistant and mother of three Deb Faraday leaves a legacy of love and care

"She embraced her work with energy and determination to make a difference for all the children that she worked with."

By Fiona Finch
Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 5:13 pm
Deborah Faraday pictured at Clitheroe Mod Festival.

Many tributes have been paid to a Longridge mother of three who has died from cancer at the age of 50.

News of Deborah (Deb) Faraday's death brought tributes from those who knew and admired her - as an inspirational parent, a teaching assistant and a friend.

Deb died at her parents' home in Burnley more than a year after being diagnosed with cancer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Deb pictured on holiday in the Lake District with her parents Mavis and Mel and children Hope, Verity and Iris

Her funeral is on Monday, November 30 at 12.15pm, when a special scooter tribute will recognise her love of Mod culture.

Her mother Mavis Whitaker said: "Deb has always been a Mod, right from being a teenager and the funeral procession is going to be escorted by members of the Centurion Scooter Club from Leyland, of which her cousin Lee is a member."

Deb, a teaching assistant at Barnacre Road primaryschool, Longridge, had been diagnosed in March 2019 with cancer and after treatment was given the all clear in October, 2019. But by December she began to feel unwell again.

Deb received treatment during the Covid pandemic at Burnley Hospital, followed by major surgery in July at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Family came first for Deb

She died on November 15, surrounded by her family, including children Hope, 17, Verity,16 and Iris, eight.

As her illness progressed Deb and her children decided to live with her parents Mavis and Melvyn. Her mum said: "Deb was about to start some more treatment right at the start of lockdown. We didn't know how she would be after treatment. They all moved here and we endured lockdown together. She was very positive she was going to come through it."

After many weeks in and out of hospital Deb chose to spend her last weeks back at her family home. Mavis said: "She had the girls here with her and that's always been the main thing in Deborah's life - her girls. Deborah's legacy to us is the girls. They were everything to her."

Mavis continued: "She told Hope she was sorry she had to have a Covid funeral because we wouldn't be able to see how many friends she had. We've had letters from people we didn't really know. We have had many letters saying what a wonderful person she was. How her smile lit up the room...She always had time for other people, no matter what was going on in her life."

Proud mum Deborah pictured with Hope in April 2019 as Hope launched a GoFundMe appeal to help finance her ballet studies

Simon Wallis, headteacher at Barnacre Road Primary School, said: "It was an honour and privilege to have Debbie as part of our team. She was a person bursting with enthusiasm, positivity and a great sense of fun. She embraced her work with energy and determination to make a difference for all the children that she worked with.

"She was loved by all of us, her colleagues for her willingness to go that extra mile in supporting them in class with her wonderful displays and that amazing ability to step in and see a job that needed doing or spotting and supporting that child who may have been struggling."

He continued: "She loved books and was passionate about the arts. Above all else she lived and breathed for her three girls. We all of us have our personal memories of Debbie, many of them joyous making us laugh and smile. Our lasting memory will be the dignity, courage and determination with which she fought her illness."

Her hairdresser placed a tribute on Facebook to "a beautiful client and friend" noting: "She was stylish to the end ... She lit up the room with her energy and class. She will be missed by all of us ... Heaven's going to get a whole lot sassier."

Deb pictured dancing in a Barnacre Road Primary School show

Deb, also known as Debs, had been a keen runner and after Hope was treated for cancer as a toddler she completed the Great North Run to raise funds for cancer research.

She also supported Hope's ambitions to become a dancer and was delighted when Hope won a place at the Northern Ballet School.

Mavis added: "She did like running and the other thing was walking. She loved walking over the moors with her dad."

The single mum, who attended school in Rawtenstall and went to Burnley College, also leaves a brother Fraser and was a fond aunt to her niece and nephew.

Donations in Deb's memory can be sent to Pendleside Hospice, c/o Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, 128 Rossendale Road, Burnley, BB11 5DH.