Obituary: Tributes to 'very special' former town manager

Cheryl Paget, former Lowestoft town centre manager

Cheryl Paget, former Lowestoft town centre manager. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Family and friends turned out to remember a Lowestoft mum and dedicated town centre advocate, who has died of cancer. 

The former Lowestoft town centre manager, Cheryl Paget, died in New Zealand last month aged 49.

Cheryl Paget

Tributes have been paid to Cheryl Paget. - Credit: Cheryl Paget

After a funeral service celebrating her life was held in New Zealand on January 24, Ms Paget was remembered by friends and family as a memorial service was held at All Saints and St Margaret's Church in Pakefield, Lowestoft on Tuesday, February 15.

Ms Paget, nee Butler, was from Lowestoft and a former pupil of Northfield, Harris Middle and Benjamin Britten High schools.

She died of cancer in Wellington on January 18.

A much-loved mum of Samuel and Jacob, brother to Niel, and eldest child of Colin and Aileen Butler of Lowestoft, heartfelt tributes were paid at the memorial service this week.

Lowestoft town centre manager Cheryl Paget.

Cheryl Paget was unveiled as the new Lowestoft town centre manager in 2003. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ms Paget, who was the Lowestoft town centre manager from 2003 to 2006, was employed within the Waveney Sunrise Scheme - a £14.7m regeneration project to enhance the town centre.

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Her role was to attract shoppers and visitors to town as she liaised with businesses to promote Lowestoft.

As an experienced project manager, Ms Paget spent two years as economic development project officer at Suffolk County Council.

She then emigrated with her two sons to New Zealand in 2009.

Touching tributes have been paid to Cheryl Paget.

Touching tributes have been paid to Cheryl Paget. - Credit: Cheryl Paget

There her most recent job was as a programme co-ordinator at Oranga Tamariki Ministry for children in Wellington.

At the memorial service, childhood friends, university colleagues and family paid touching tributes - hailing "how much good she did in the world during her short lifetime."

Describing Cheryl as "a very special lady and a very special friend", Rev Heather Wilcox - who conducted the memorial ceremony in Pakefield - said: ”Cheryl wanted the service to be a celebration of what she achieved in life.”

Having gained a BA(Hons) English Language and Literature at University of Central England, Birmingham and a Master of Arts (MA) Children’s Literature Studies at the University of Warwick, in the early 2000s Ms Paget founded the ‘New Wine’ group at Pakefield Church which was set up originally as a group for the younger ladies in the church as a bible study group.

Reading Ms Paget's words at the ceremony, Rev Wilcox said: “I am proud of what I have achieved in life.

"My career, my friendships and my sons.

"I moved to New Zealand as a single mother knowing no one and having never been there before.

"I have taken calculated risks throughout my life.

"I hope I put as much joy back in the world as I took out of it.

"My only regret is that I leave such fine sons behind, and I wouldn’t be with them through their journey in life.”

With tributes read out on behalf of her two sons, friends and family a "recurring message" from these words was that Cheryl's key message for a good life was to "be kind."

Brother Niel Butler spoke about Cheryl’s achievements saying she was "dedicated, an over-achiever but also fun with a wicked sense of humour."

He added: "She was intelligent, thoughtful, fierce and very organised, articulate, enthusiastic and ambitious to succeed.”

Prior to her death Cheryl had requested, instead of flowers, that people donate to the Cancer Society NZ and the Mary Potter Hospice NZ where she spent her final days and was well looked after.

Donations can be made directly with Cheryl's lawyer Lauren Hibberd via email Ljh@slw.co.nz

After the service a '50th birthday party' was held at a nearby pub to celebrate Cheryl’s life.