HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a much-loved mum and dedicated volunteer who lost her battle with cancer.

Classic cars joined the funeral procession to pay tribute to Catherine Smith, known as Pat, who was “there for everyone and anyone” throughout her life.

Pat was married to her husband Keith for 63 years and the couple were honoured to receive a letter from the Queen on their 60th wedding anniversary.

Pat worked as an auxilliary nurse at Basildon hospital before volunteering at Havens Hospices. She had four children as well as fostering several children.

She passed away at home with her family by her side on April 7, aged 81, after a four-week battle with leukaemia.

The family were touched after classic cars lined the streets and followed the hearse to Pitsea crematorium last week from the family home near Tarpots.

Her son Craig, 50 said: “Growing up we had an interest in classic cars and we’re part of the South Eastern Vintage Classic Vehicles Club.

“My mum was a lady in red. She used to be part of the team that would help do the raffles and help out.

“She was well loved. Everyone would always go over to my mum’s car.

“We had 11 classic cars drive behind us to the funeral.

“It was very emotional, but a huge comfort that they had put themselves out there for her.”

Craig and his family were left overwhelmed by the support they received from neighbours who lined the street to pay their respects.

Craig added: “We gave the neighbours a letter letting them know what had happened.

“My dad received cards and condolences from neighbours and they wee offering their driveways for the funeral.

“I was sitting in the car crying and I looked up and saw everyone bowing their heads. She will definitely be missed.”

The family are now raising money for Havens Hospices to thank them for looking after Pat. Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/pat-catherine-smith