THE family of a popular Basingstoke woman has paid tribute to her after she sadly passed away earlier this year.

Patricia Irene Carol Kinge, known as Pat, was an integral part of Winklebury newsagents Greenways, which she opened with her then husband in June 1971, before it was taken over by their son and daughter.

Pat, from South Ham, met Peter Dodds from Gosport when they were both working at WH Smiths in Basingstoke.

They had three children and ran a number of family businesses, including the newsagents and a nearby wool shop, for which Pat obtained a diploma in Patons wool.

When Pat and Peter separated, she worked full-time Thermo Fisher Scientific in Basingstoke until her retirement.

But when their children Jackie and Barry took over the business 20 years ago, they brought her back on board.

“She was the glue that kept this place ticking over,” Jackie told the Gazette.

“If any of us had any emergencies or needed time off, she would always be there. To be honest we are finding it very hard without her.”

Pat is survived by her three children, Barry, Jackie and Neil, as well as her eight grandchildren - Colette, David, Bradley, Jay, Lara, Nicole, Grace and Olivia - and two great-grandchildren.

“Her life was family. She spoiled us all. We couldn’t have wished for a better mum. If ever I was born again, I would want the same mum. She was there through all the problems over the years.

“She loved her garden. At the weekends we go on trips to garden centres and things.”

Pat was diagnosed with cancer, but chose to keep it secret from her family, and declined treatment.

Jackie said: “In October, she told us she wanted to finish work, which wasn’t like her. But she was protecting us to the end. She wouldn’t go to hospital or have any treatment whatsoever.”

“In October, she was fitter than me, that’s the funny thing! She would come zoom into the shop on her mobility scooter.”

Pat was extremely popular in the Winklebury community, where newsagent regulars new her well.

“So many people came in to give their condolences,” said Jackie.

“We had her brought here in the hearse and a lot of locals came out to pay their respects which was lovely.

“She has been truly missed.”