ONE of the leading figures behind Kirkwood Hospice has died suddenly.
Mrs Sylvia Ralph, of Birkby, collapsed while on holiday in the North-East and died in hospital in Middlesbrough.
Mrs Ralph, 59, of Birkby Road, was chairman of the Dalton hospice’s board of trustees.
She took up the role last year after being appointed a trustee three years ago.
She had worked as a volunteer with the hospice since 2002.
Hilary Turner, the hospice’s director of finance and administration, said: “It is terrible news and a real blow to the hospice. She has done a tremendous amount of work over the years.”
Mrs Ralph spent more than 30 years working for Marks and Spencer across the Yorkshire region.
Her brother, Mr Melvyn Briggs, said: “Everyone will tell you what a very special person Sylvia was.
“Her cheerful, positive personality won her many friends and professionally she was made to manage.
But the authority she gained at Marks and Spencer and later at Kirkwood Hospice was managed with great humility, marked by responsibility and compassion.
“She was that rare individual who touched the lives of every person she met.
“How sad that her life and love was so suddenly taken away.”