In the early hours of December 25 Janice Fleming was flooded with messages of love from those she loved and those who loved her.
By 9.30am, however, the much-loved mother, wife, friend and teacher had died from a suspected heart attack aged just 53 years.
Now, a week on, the Fleming family have gathered to pay tribute to the woman they adored.
“Losing mum has been a huge shock,” Janice’s
eldest daughter Kate, 21, said.
“I had messaged her early on Christmas morning, she replied and about two hours later dad called to say she had died, it was all so sudden.”
Mrs Fleming, husband Bob and their young family – Michael, 24, Kate, 21, Patrick, 18, Ellen, 15 and Brigid, 12 – have been a part of the Maitland community for more than 20 years.
During this time Mrs Fleming – also grandmother to Caleb, 1 – taught at Telarah, Rutherford and Milbrodale public schools and was assistant principal of Singleton Heights Public School at the time of her death.
“Anything mum could do for someone she would do it. She never worried about herself and didn’t sleep a lot because she was always organising things for other people,” Michael said.
“Losing her has been very rough, but we’re all right.”
Mrs Fleming was also heavily involved with local football and soccer clubs and a respected member of the Anglican Parish of Rutherford/Telarah, where she established chess and craft groups for young parishioners.
“Mum was larger than life and she was heavily involved in absolutely everything and she has left us with an amazing support system,” Kate said.
“I knew mum was well-known in the community, but I didn’t realise just how many people loved her.”
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