Grieving husband pays tribute to 'best friend, loving mother, kind-hearted woman' after Chesterfield accountant's sudden death
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Wendy Joel, 53, of Collishaw Close, Hasland, passed away at Martin Bruno Accountants in Chesterfield, a firm that she had owned for five years and where she had worked since her early twenties.
Her husband Michael said: “It’s such a shock. Wendy left for work last Monday (March 14) at 8am, with a smile, a kiss, a wave and a 'see you tonight'. By the time her colleague got to work, she had collapsed.”
Wendy died from an aortic embolism which was a weakness in part of her heart. She was on medication for high blood pressure following a barrage of hospital tests for chest pains, the results of which had come back negative.
Michael said his wife of nearly 30 years was his best friend for life: “Wendy was a loving mother of both of our children, a kind-hearted woman who would stop and help anyone,” he said. “I’ve had hundreds of messages from people saying how much they’ll miss her.”
Wendy leaves daughter Jessica, 16 and son Timothy, 15, her mother Gloria Harrison and her brother Patrick Harrison.
A girl of the Eighties, Wendy loved music and dancing. She recorded a video for YouTube which shows her dressed for work before setting aside her briefcase to dance on the steps of Chesterfield Town Hall. Michael said: “There was a guy on Facebook called The Dancing Accountant based in Australia – they had never met but he used to do those videos and she did one for him at his request, recorded by a friend of hers. He strung a whole load of people doing the same thing together.”
Wendy was passionate about photography, taking hundreds of photos with her iPhone. She also collected thousands of old photographs on her Facebook site There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Vintage.
A keen walker, she enjoyed holidays in the Welsh village of Penmachno.
She was a big supporter of Pride in Chesterfield, which Martin Bruno Accountants are sponsoring this year. Michael said: “Wendy was a firm believer in helping others and different communities and bringing people together, not putting barriers up but knocking them down.”
Wendy’s colleague Sarah Parkin, said: “I worked with Wendy Joel for 16 years. She was the life and soul of the office and always available for a chat. She took over Martin Bruno Accountants in May 2016 and the clients found her open and approachable and I hope to keep this up by taking the company forward.”
Neil Anderson, who founded The Dirty Stopouts range of retro nightlife books and reunion nights, said: “I was truly shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden death of Wendy Joel. She was one of our biggest advocates and regularly the life and soul of the ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield’ Facebook group since its early inception. She appeared in the original ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Chesterfield’ and was a regular at many of our events. She was funny, enthusiastic and her passing is a huge loss to the town. The ‘Dirty Stop Outs’ won’t be the same without her. Our thoughts are with her husband Michael and children at this sad time.”
Nicky Norton commented on social media: “A beautiful lady with a heart of gold.”
Caroline Featherstone posted: “Wendy was one of a kind and supporter of all things Chesterfield. A huge loss to the town, the St Helena school community, the accountancy world and most importantly, her family.”
Wendy’s personality will be reflected at her funeral when mourners have been asked to wear bright clothes. Michael said: “Wendy was a colourful girl, a bright person - she wouldn't want people to be wearing black.”
The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 29, at 2pm in Hasland Methodist Church and at 3.10pm at Chesterfield Crematorium.
Donations will go to the British Heart Foundation.