DEVASTATED Harry Webb, who is coming to terms with the death of his wife and community hero Carmel, says their 12-year-old daughter Molly is his ‘rock’ in grief.
Carmel, 36, died suddenly on New Year’s Eve after battling a rare heart and lung condition for a decade.
Hundreds of people have paid their respects to the Podsmead mum who did as much for her community as she did for her family.
Harry, who was married to Carmel for 11 years, said: “We were never apart. We did everything together. We knew what would happen in the end so we were determined to have as many happy family memories as possible.
“She was a loving wife and was inspirational to others. She was given just two years to live and survived ten.
“We never kept anything from Molly and she would always help out when we needed to take care of Carmel. She has grown up with it. Now she’s my rock in all of this.
“She’s dealing with it in a stronger way than most other people her age.
“I have been looking at the hundreds of tributes to Carmel on Facebook. I had to stop in the end because it was just too overwhelming.”
In 2007, generous Citizen readers raised money to send the family to Disneyland Paris for a much-needed holiday.
Carmel had wanted to take the family on a holiday of a lifetime after learning about her condition – primary pulmonary hypertension.
Friend Jennie Dallimore, city councillor for Podsmead, said: “I just can’t imagine my 2014 without Carmel in it. She was a brave, strong and inspirational person.
“I became really good friends with her so I’m devastated to have lost her.
“She was a great mum, a good friend and she threw herself into so many projects in the community and gave them life.
“There is going to be a huge hole left behind but she also left behind a legacy and we will make sure that it lives on in her memory.”
Carmel was chairman of the Podsmead Community Association as well as working as a star partner for the Unlimited community grants scheme for Podsmead. She also ran a luncheon club for more than 100 senior citizens.
She also launched Freedom Kids – a youth group for more than 60 Podsmead children – her efforts for which were recognised when she was nominated for the best community project in the 2013 Believe in Gloucester Awards.
She was also the brains behind a mobility repair service and worked to promote the British Heart Foundation’s efforts in the city with Gloucester City Council.
A council spokesman said: “Carmel was a resident who was hugely active and influential in the area and worked with council officers on a variety of projects and ideas. She helped run a number of events and was involved in plans for future ideas. She was known by everyone and will be missed enormously.”
In 2013 she was named volunteer of the year by Gloucester City Homes. Director of housing Anita Pope said: “Carmel’s enthusiasm and dedication to supporting those in her community will be greatly missed.”