TRIBUTES have been paid to a Newton Abbot mum who has died suddenly aged just 40.
Claire Hunt, who was born in Torquay, was having a quiet drink with a friend at the Harvester Inn on Beacon Quay when she complained of a headache and collapsed. It is believed she suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Despite the efforts of both paramedics and the staff at the pub, who tried to resuscitate her for over an hour, she died at the scene.
Her sister, Joanne Thomas, said: "Claire leaves a gorgeous little six-year-old boy Joseph who we know she cherished dearly. Joseph was Claire's life and she was a wonderful, vibrant mother. He is being comforted by his father, Duane Breslan, and close family, including his cousins Thomas, Jack, Florence and Isaac.
"Everyone who knew Claire is trying to come to terms with the shock and deep sadness of losing such a special person. She touched so many people's lives. Duane is devastated by the loss of his life partner and best friend."
Claire grew up in Livermead and Edginswell, Torquay, with her sisters Joanne and Rachel, and went to Preston Primary School and Audley Park.
She joined the Alliance & Leicester, working in Torquay, Totnes, Exeter and Newton Abbot. More recently she worked for the Halifax in Newton Abbot and Paignton.
Sara Hayward, Halifax branch manager at Paignton, said: "To hear Claire always wanted to work in banking explains a lot — she was very passionate about her job here and wanted to do the best for customers.
"A caring nature, she was entertaining and as bright as the colourful flowers she wore in her hair. We miss her now and that will never change."
Her mother, Janice Barber, said she was named Claire because it means 'clear and bright' and her name was perfect.
"She was both clear and bright. She had a fantastic, quirky sense of humour, full of laughter and would do anything for anybody. She will be missed more than words can say."
Claire was much adored by her father Michael Hunt, who described her as very precious, loving and caring.
She was an active member of the community and did a lot for charity. Last year she took part in the Moonlight Pyjama Walk, raising money for Rowcroft Hospice. She was also involved with Rotaract and CLIC.
Claire regularly volunteered at Decoy Primary School, spending time on her days off from work reading with the children. She was also a member of the PTA. Nikki Mold, from the PTA, said: "Claire was a dedicated, reliable and hard working committee member of Decoy School's PTA, giving up her precious time to help others and raise money for her son Joseph's school.
"She was full of enthusiasm and new ideas. Her warm personality meant she made friends with all she knew. Her fun and zest for life will be sorely missed by us all. She was a great lady."
The family have thanked paramedics and staff at the Harvester who tried to save her on August 25.
She had recently celebrated her 40th with a big party for family and friends. Her sister Joanne added: "She touched so many people's lives and all of her family and friends are honoured to have known Claire. My sister Rachel and I are so proud she was our sister and sad her life ended so tragically, without the chance to say goodbye or tell her how much we loved her. We will celebrate her life as she would have wished, sharing happy memories with family and friends".
Her funeral will take place at St Mary's Church, Kinskerswell, on September 12.