Tributes have been paid to a much-loved mother from Tenterden who died after a tragic boat accident in Amazonian Brazil.
Gillian Metcalf, 50, of Plummer Lane, has been described as a marvellous lawyer, generous friend and devoted mother.
She was killed after the boat she was travelling in with her family, husband Charlie and two daughters, was struck by another vessel on the Rio Negro near the port of Ceasa last Thursday morning.
Gillian Metcalf, who was tragically killed in a boat crash
The Metcalf family had been on their way to the Juma Amazon Lodge in the rainforest just days into a 12-day tour of the South American country.
Charlie Metcalf, her husband of 25 years, said: “She was a good mum, a very good mum. She was a good wife and she worked hard for us and we loved her.”
He added: “She was very family-orientated. Her family was her life.”
One of the last things the family did together was visit the stunning Iguazu falls on the Brazilian border with Argentina.
“It was beautiful,” said Mr Metcalf. “They were world class and I’m so glad that Gill saw that before she died because they were amazing.”
The Rio Negro in the Brazilian Amazon
Originally from Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, Mrs Metcalf studied law at Birmingham University where she met her then-to-be husband Charlie. They later married in Hertfordshire and had two daughters Natasha, who is now aged 20, and Alice, who is 19.
The family moved to Tenterden four years ago having previously lived in Naccolt near Wye and Godmersham.
“She joined a firm in Canterbury,” said Mr Metcalf. “We very much wanted the girls to have a good education and we saw Kent had good grammar schools so that’s why we moved here.
Gillian Metcalf, middle, with daughters Natasha, Alice and husband Charlie by the Iguazu falls
Gillian Metcalf and husband Charlie on the Vallee Blanche
Gillian Metcalf, mother of two from Tenterden, in Brazil on the day before she died
“The girls went to Highworth where they both got very good grades and got into good universities.”
Mrs Metcalf, known as Gill, loved to travel and enjoyed trips to Africa, India, Vietnam and Central America with her family over the years.
She also loved to ski and was particularly proud to have skied the Vallee Blanche in France, the world’s most famous off-piste run, earlier this year.
“She was a good mum, a very good mum. She was a good wife and she worked hard for us and we loved her” - husband Charlie Metcalf
“She loved skiing,” said Mr Metcalf. “We used to go skiing every year and her big thing was skiing the Vallee Blanche. We did it and we survived it.
“She was used to going on black ski runs but that was a massive thing for her.”
Mrs Metcalf wanted her ashes to be scattered on the Michel Dujon black ski run at Saint Gervais, her favourite skiing destination in the French Alps.
Her body is due to be brought back to the UK this weekend so the family can make funeral arrangements and a coroner can open the inquest.
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