Family pay loving tribute to mum-of-two and Chad journalist: ‘You can see how much she meant to lots of people’

“She was happy, she was loved and she is remembered.”
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That is how the family of “inspirational” mum-of-two Katrina Taylor say she wants to be known following her sad passing from an inoperable brain tumour on Saturday, at the age of just 42.

“She was always funny, she always wanted to enjoy life,” says dad Pete. “She was always someone who wanted to be the life and soul of the party.”

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“She was the life and soul of the party,” adds youngest brother Adam, team leader in a pharmaceutical company.

Katrina Taylor.Katrina Taylor.
Katrina Taylor.

Katrina was born on October 20, 1980, to young parents – Pete was just 16 and mum Dianne 17.

Pete says: “We got married the day after I left school.”

Three years later, she became an older sister – and a “domineering” one at that, according to brother Rickie, now aged 40, with Adam, now 36, arriving in 1986.

Rickie, a general manager, recalls: “She was competitive, particularly with sports. Running, football, she liked to win.”

Chad journalist Katrina Taylor has died, aged 42, after a brain tumour.Chad journalist Katrina Taylor has died, aged 42, after a brain tumour.
Chad journalist Katrina Taylor has died, aged 42, after a brain tumour.
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Trina, as she was known to her family, attended Greenwood Primary School and later Ashfield School, enjoying music, dance, keyboard lessons and even playing the trumpet.

Dianne, who worked in warehouse management before her retirement, says: “She was a bit of a show-off. She did school plays and stuff at Ashfield.”

Retired manager Pete says: “She liked to try everything.

“She was opinionated as a child. She liked to be right. She was always someone who liked a discussion. She would listen to everything, but at the end she was right.”

Katrina with husband, Andy Taylor, on their wedding day in 2018.Katrina with husband, Andy Taylor, on their wedding day in 2018.
Katrina with husband, Andy Taylor, on their wedding day in 2018.

Academically gifted, she was “always” in the top classes at school – her competitive spirit and sense of humour shining through when she marked a year with living with her brain tumour, in April, with a post on her Facebook blog saying: “Only 10 per cent of brain tumour patients live longer than a year. Was always in the top sets a school. I was always an over-achiever”

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After leaving sixth-form, she worked as an office manager at a cleaning resources firm, before moving into commercial and hospitality sales with Mansfield Town FC, Fitness First and latterly Water Meadows Leisure Complex. She was mum to two children she adored, Finlay, now 13, and six-year-old Jacob, marrying husband Andy, a 40-year-old domestic assistant at Sutton’s King’s Mill Hospital, in September 2018, along the way.

Pete says: “From the start she wanted to be her own person, and she was.

“She always did well in her jobs, but she always felt she have been getting better rewards. She was always looking for the next step.”

Finlay, with his dad, James Brown, after participating in the race for life.Finlay, with his dad, James Brown, after participating in the race for life.
Finlay, with his dad, James Brown, after participating in the race for life.

“She was a strong, independent woman,” adds proud brother Rickie.

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In 2019, she left sales to embrace her love of English and writing to take up her “dream job” as a journalist, with her hometown newspaper, thanks to the Facebook community news project, offering on-the-job training to journalists from non-typical backgrounds.

Dianne says: “When the chance of journalism came, that was her dream. She loved meeting people. She really got people, but she particularly loved speaking to people and telling their stories.”

She was a true community champion, giving a voice to people across Mansfield, where she now lived, and Ashfield, where she grew up.

However, sadly, within days of earning a permanent contract at the end of her fixed-term CNP role, in April 2022, Katrina was diagnosed with an inoperable stage-four brain tumour, spending increasing time at hospital appointments and latterly at John Eastwood Hospice, Sutton – but keeping a brave face on on her Facebook “journey”.

“She didn’t want people to worry,” says Adam.

Katrina's youngest son, Jacob.Katrina's youngest son, Jacob.
Katrina's youngest son, Jacob.
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Dianne says: “Social media gave her a voice and she relished that, she loved that.”

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Right up until the end, she kept her sense of humour – showing her distaste at Adam’s hat by removing it and throwing it on the floor when she couldn’t speak – before she passed on Saturday, July 1, surrounded by her family.

“It was so hard when she lost the ability to communicate, her body failed her,” the family say. “She still wanted to do things, right up to the end.”

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Dad Pete says: “There was so much she wanted to do, but her time got compressed.

“The overriding feeling now, among the sadness, is relief she’s not suffering anymore.

“One thing she said, was that she didn’t want people to be sad and mourn her, but she wanted people to remember and celebrate who she was.

"She was happy, she was loved and she was remembered, that’s what she said she wanted people to know.”

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The family said they have taken comfort from the many messages of condolences across Facebook, via cards and in person, following Katrina’s passing, highlighting what a popular and loved women she was.

“It has been a comfort,” says Pete, “but in some ways, I have found it a bit over-whelming. But you can see how much she meant to lots of people.”

Referring to Katrina’s Facebook blog, Dianne says: “People have responded who have never met her. She inspired people.”

Katrina’s funeral is at Mansfield Crematorium on Thursday, July 20, at 1.15pm, followed by a wake at Andwhynot, Leeming Street, Mansfield town centre. All are welcome.

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Adam said: “There is no dress code, Katrina wanted people to be comfortable and happy and also wanted it to be a celebration, rather than a sad occasion.

Family flowers only, with donations to John Eastwood Hospice, via

Paying tribute to the “angels” at the hospice – “not just the nurses, but everyone, the receptionists, the cleaning staff” – Dianne said: “She said the community had done lots of fundraising for her and the boys and this time she wanted everyone focused on the place and people that became like a second home, like a second family.”

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