Published: 11:34, 15 January 2020
A woman who brought her old school friends back together after four decades, while battling cancer, has died.
Amanda Dawn Richie, 56, from Deal was determined to pack as much as possible into her final months after receiving a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis last January.
Not only did she reunite with 21 friends from the Folkestone Technical High School For Girls class of 74-79, she also returned to the Spanish resort where she met her husband, Aaron 'Elvis' Richie.
Unable to get insurance to fly, the pair took four trains and a bus to revisit Nerja, a town along southern Spain's Costa del Sol, where they first set eyes on each in other in 2011.
Less than seven weeks ago, the retired Post Office area manager also held a fundraiser at Betteshanger Social Club raising almost £1,000 to be split between the Pilgrim's Hospice, which cared for her in her final days, and Bipolar UK.
She died on January 2 in her husband's arms.
Mr Richie, an Elvis impersonator, said: "We went back to Nerja in July to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.
"It was her dream. She was determined to go, even without insurance. It took us a day and a half to get there.
"She loved the reunion too. She really wanted to get at least 20 people there and she got 21."
Mrs Richie was born in Ash to Ronald and Susan Shoebridge.
She attended Ash Junior School and the Downs Primary in Deal before completing her secondary education in Folkestone.
Having obtained a degree in statistics from the University of Bath, she worked as an area manager for the Post Office, travelling around the country including to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
She had been single all her life until she met Mr Richie whilst on holiday. They married at the Astor Theatre in Deal in 2016.
Her aunt and best friend Stella Gijzen said: "She found her king in Aaron and she was his queen.
"She was braver than any of us. She was so kind and would do anything for anybody, but strong and determined too.
"She packed so much into her last year. She's was always planning something and working things out. It's how she got through."
Her funeral will be held at St Nicholas Church in Ash at 3pm on Thursday, January 23 followed by a gathering at the Five Bells in Eastry.
More by this authorEleanor Perkins