THE heartbroken children of a 47- year-old woman who has died after a courageous nine-year battle with breast cancer have described her as ‘the best mum’ of all.
The pair paid tribute to Ann Brister, who grew up in Sudbury and worked in Uttoxeter, after she passed away at the Royal Derby Hospital.
“Everyone says their mum is the best but I know mine was,” said Sophie Brister, 18, who delayed her admission to Staffordshire University to care for her mother.
“She was the best mum and I’m very proud of her,” said Sophie’s brother, Sean, a 23-year-old student of veterinary medicine at the University of Nottingham.
“It’s really hard and very upsetting but she’s in no more pain. That’s one blessing.
Her last few months had been quite a struggle.” Daughter of the late John Yates, a farmer, and his wife, Bobbie, an ex-JCB canteen worker now in her early 70s, Mrs Brister was born on August 12, 1965, and had one brother, Robert Yates, now 50 and a Mertrux manager from Hatton.
Brought up in Sudbury, first in Gibb Lane and then at Twelve Acres Farm, part of the Sudbury estate, Mrs Brister was educated at Sudbury Primary School and Hatton Comprehensive School before leaving at 16 to work as an assistant pharmacist at Halcrow, a chemist’s in Uttoxeter.
She married her husband, Martin Brister, 50, a director of Fauld-based welding and fabrications firm Abiljo, 26 years ago at All Saints’ Church, Sudbury.
After bringing up her children, Mrs Brister undertook laundry and care work at The Old Lodge Nursing Home, in Etwall, for two years, before taking her last job at Burton-based Wellings Funeral Service.
Diagnosed with breast cancer just six months later, she had surgery which appeared to eradicate the disease only for it to return and spread throughout her body.
Mrs Brister fought hard to survive, returning to work in August for several weeks and even undergoing surgery to replace her right hip just days before her death on Sunday, October 28.
“Mum died while she was still fighting rather than give in. She was amazing,” her son said.
A strong character driven by her love of family and friends, Mrs Brister was funloving, happy, kind, friendly and hugely popular.
She enjoyed jigsaws, cooking, foreign holidays and spa breaks with her best friend, Tracy Potter.