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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Maidstone mum Elaine Collett dies on school run to pick up children from Lenham Primary School

21 March 2014
by Anna Young

Elaine Collett was on her way to Lenham Primary School when she suddenly felt unwell and collapsed on a neighbour's doorstep.

The 38-year-old, who lived in the village's Maidstone Road, had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Elaine Collett died on the way to collect her children from school. Picture James Collett

Elaine Collett died on the way to collect her children from school. Picture: James Collett

She was taken by ambulance to the William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, but there was nothing doctors could do to save her.

Her husband James, 34, was on his way home from work in London last Tuesday when he received the devastating news. He arrived in time to say goodbye to his wife of 10 years.

Chartered surveyor Mr Collett said: "Elaine was a wonderful wife and mother.

"She had the ability to make me smile, even over the phone. Just the sound of her voice made me feel better no matter how bad my day was going."

The couple moved to the village from London in search of a countryside life just before their daughter Sophie was born. She turns eight on Sunday. They also have a five-year-old son, Jack.

Elaine with her family; husband James, children Jack and Sophie. Picture James Collett

Elaine with her family; husband James, children Jack and Sophie. Picture: James Collett

Mr Collett said: "Elaine loved it here and we were always talking about growing old in the village and shuffling around the square.

"Since she died, a day hasn't gone by where someone hasn't called in to check on us.

"She had the ability to make me smile, even over the phone. Just the sound of her voice made me feel better no matter how bad my day was going..." - grieving husband James Collett

"The support shown to me and the kids has just been overwhelming and we're so thankful."

Mr Collett is surrounded by family, including his mother-in-law who moved to the village last week to help look after the children.

Mrs Collett worked part-time at Little Country Garden, a home and clothing shop in the High Street.

Owner Jemma Cockell said: "Elaine didn't really have a proper interview. She came in one day and she was so bubbly and lovely.

"We just clicked. I spoke to her on Tuesday morning and she was fine. It has been such a shock."

Elaine with son Jack, five, and seven-year-old daughter Sophie. Picture James Collett

Elaine with son Jack, five, and seven-year-old daughter Sophie. Picture: James Collett

Mrs Collett was involved in various village organisations, including a bus service for elderly people, the parish council, a toddler group and Lenham Focus magazine, which her husband edits.

Nicole Mills, landlady at the Red Lion, said: "Elaine and James are genuine people who don't have a bad bone in their bodies. They're such lovely people who were so happy just being together as a family.

"The whole village is heartbroken. Elaine will be sorely missed."

Mrs Collett's funeral is at Charing Crematorium on Thursday, April 3, at 11.20am.

Flowers are welcome and people are invited to attend the service and join the family afterwards at Tithe Barn off Lenham High Street, where Mrs Collett was planning to celebrate her 40th birthday next year.


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