This memorial website was created in memory of my mum, Cecilia Thomas, born on November 27, 1954, and passed away on March 7, 2021 at 66 years of age. 

She was the most amazing wife, mum, sister, daughter, nani, mum in law, aunt, cousin, friend, doctor and mentor to so many.

She squeezed every ounce out of life and whilst it breaks my heart she is no longer with us, I am creating a space so that she can be remembered as the warm, positive, kind, generous and determined force of nature that she was. 

Cysga'n Dawel x
Posted by A C on April 13, 2021
From Antonia Luscombe-Whyte

I have just heard devastating news.
I am so, so sorry to hear of Dr Thomas's sudden death. 
I know will be a massive loss to family, colleagues and patients. I knew her as a passionate, caring woman who did so much to help others and left the world a lesser place without her in it.
With love and prayers to family and friends who will no doubt be left reeling.

Posted by Michael Pasquin on April 13, 2021
Cysga'n Dawel, your Mother was a lovely, gentle person, and I am and I am already missing her terribly – and I’m only a patient.

I know you live in Japan from choice because you like their way of life, and probably can’t get home. My thoughts are with you as well.

Nick. (
Posted by Louisa Wilson on April 11, 2021
Dear Roger and family,
Chris and I are so very sorry to hear about Celia.
I loved working with her in St Mellons. She was always a supportive colleague, a great doctor with a fantastic work ethic and so full of energy and fun.
I’ve been very moved by your wonderful eulogy and realise how much you will all miss her.
Very best wishes,
Louisa and Chris Wilson
Posted by Alice McLaren on April 9, 2021
I must admit, I have delayed writing this because it is difficult to put into a few paragraphs the impact that Celie had on my life, the life of my siblings, and on our parents. She didn’t just mean a lot to us; she meant everything. Since we moved to Cardiff when I was a young child, Celie and the Thomas’ have been a permanent and close feature in our lives. When we were younger Rhys used to appear in our house most days of the week which resulted in Celie also being there frequently, having cappuccinos and a good chat with mum and dad.

I remember fondly our family adventures together, especially our half term breaks at Alton Towers. On one visit, I remember feeling like an absolute boss when she bought me a t-shirt from a photo shoot that made me look like I was skiing and, honestly, I kept it for years afterwards. This is just a small example of Celie’s generosity. Another example I remember is at Emma’s hen and, being aware that me and my sisters were students at the time, she absolutely refused to let us buy our own lunch, to the point where she ended up throwing a Euro note across the table at my face! This seems like a funny little anecdote to remember but I also think it sums Celie up so well- absolutely committed to looking after others, and giving that commitment with *110%* always.

Celie was very much the nucleus of family life, with her and Rog’s house being a central point for family gatherings and big celebrations. It’s the type of home where, if the light is on, you’re guaranteed to be welcomed in, sat at the kitchen table, offered a cup of tea, and just greeted with general warmth and enthusiasm. We’ve spent more birthdays, Christmases, life events (even the millennium!) there than I can count. Now I wish I hadn’t taken these moments for granted so much.

Celie’s caring nature was coupled with absolute pragmatism. She was also the person who made sure I pushed the doctors for referrals for my eldest son when he wasn’t walking at 18 months. This kicked off a series of support interventions, ultimately leading to an Autism diagnosis at a relatively young age. I wonder how long we would have been chasing that diagnosis without Celie’s initial push.

I could go on and on with these little anecdotes of Celie’s influence on our lives but hopefully the above demonstrates that the influence was profound. I’m so very sad but I’m also so very grateful to have had such a brilliant person in my life. I’ll miss you always Celie. Love you loads. xxxx
Posted by Alex Mullen on April 9, 2021
Auntie Celie was the life and soul of the party and a glamorous and generous Auntie who looked after everyone. We loved playing with the cousins in that amazing house filled with toys and food. Celie always had exciting things planned and we got to do all sorts of stuff we couldn’t back home. We don’t remember her saying no to any of our crazy ideas – she wanted us all to have fun. We remember vividly the trips to Oakwood park. The girls were usually facing backwards in the back of the Volvo plotting all sorts. Rhys and David picked up the phrase ‘too loud man you’re bugging me’ from one of the attractions and repeated it endlessly all holiday… After a day of rampaging we’d spend hours trying to spy on the adults late at night – there was lots of laughing and stuff we didn’t understand.

Celie was utterly devoted to family. She has been a source of strength and advice for the family forever. But that doesn’t really do it justice: we’re pretty confident she saved our dad’s life ten years ago and she certainly kept gran alive for years, supporting her constantly with medical attention and love. She arranged meet-ups to make sure we didn’t lose contact as our lives grew busier and further apart: gran’s 90th was a memorable event – Mike accidently took a substantial cake knife in his rucksack through the security at Windsor castle and set all the alarms off. Thankfully the fact that he was accompanied by 90-odd year olds reassured the guards.

We’re glad Celie got to meet Sophie a couple of times, one time was at Mike’s sister’s house in Dinas – Celie seemed to know everyone (Lucy is a GP). She thoughtfully brought gifts not only for Sophie but also for Lucy’s daughter. We feel so sad that Celie never got to meet baby Jessica, Alex’s youngest, or Jude, David’s fiancée. She taught us to work hard, enjoy life to the full and to look after one another. Getting together won’t ever be the same again without Auntie Celie. We hope to be together soon to raise a glass or two to her.

We send all our love and thoughts to Uncle Roger, our cousins, Tomos and Henri and the many other people who have lost a very dear friend and mentor. It feels so very surreal and unfair. Rest in peace Auntie, and please say hello to gran and grandad Albert for us.

Alex and David
Posted by Judith Kiely on April 6, 2021
Such sad news. Patrick and I offer our heartfelt sympathies to you, Roger, and to your family.
Posted by Bidi Griffiths on April 1, 2021

My memories of Celia.
I was an only child and therefore had no nieces until I married and had Roger as Maldwyn’s nephew. Then when he married, Celia came into my life as a special niece.
She had so many qualities, kind, welcoming and generous, talented, loving, devoted to her family and a joy to be with. We were always made welcome in their home in Cardiff and Aberaeron. I remember the welcome home party she arranged in the house for Emma when she returned from her gap year in Australia and then there was a shared birthday party for Emma and Bethan.
Some times it’s the little things she did that I remember and which show her generosity, the last time I saw her she brought me some chocolates. When I needed a pillow so that I could sit up comfortably in bed she gave me a special one that had been her mother’s so I think of her and Beezie every time I go to bed.
Once, as I was walking down the street in Aberaeron, I heard footsteps running behind me and it was Tomos, saying Hello Aunty Bidi. He and Henri had been with Meryl and Celia in a café and Celia had happened to see me go past. Tomos was sent to go after me and bring me back to Zuko’s to have coffee with them.
I usually sit in the same pew in Aberaeron church, it has a stained glass window by it and depicted on it are two figures, one of St Luke, the physician and the other of Saint Cecilia. It’s no wonder that I think of that as Celia’s window.

With love. R.I.P

Posted by Richard Edwards on March 28, 2021
Celia and I were partners in a changing medical practice from the mid eighties until I retired in 2012.
She was always hard working, and was very reluctant to take any time off, even when quite unwell!
I will remember her for the way she took care of our grandson Ewan at our daughter, Helen’s wedding, walking him around until he settled down.
Celia came home early at my mother’s funeral and made all the tea at home.
I remember her turning up at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, when I had to identify the body of our partner Huw Davies, who had died in a push-bike accident in 1986.
She was always there to help and was always useful with her advice.
She was a good trainer in General Practice and trained many GPs over the years.
Our families had many holidays together and I will always remember them.
I was dumbfounded when I heard she had died, as I never thought that I would be at her funeral, but the reality was that I was there!
She was always a good partner and a very good friend, and of course I will always miss her.
I feel so sorry for Roger and the family, Emma, Bethan and Rhys, together with Carwyn, Jess and Meryl, her best friend.
Rest In Peace.
Posted by Victoria Cole on March 28, 2021
Celia was the most inspirational person. From when I considered studying medicine at aged 16, she was the only doctor I knew (as well as Roger) and she remained a huge role model throughout university, still to this day and always will be. I felt so thrilled to have her as a GP trainer and loved my time as a GP reg with her. I learnt so much both clinically but also in the ‘approach’ to people. She had such warmth about her yet also a ‘no nonsense’ attitude mixed with the most wonderful ‘get up and go’ and as so many have said a zest for life. A truly one of a kind person who will never be forgotten.

Sending my utmost heartfelt condolences to you all x
Posted by Angela Bradley on March 28, 2021
Cecilia was my niece and a great friend. I will miss her very much. She was a wonderful daughter and daughter in law and I loved the way she never forgot a birthday or Christmas. Her flowers were always so beautiful. Rest in Peace Cecilia.
Posted by Tom Salmon on March 28, 2021
It is 3.38 in the morning. I woke up thinking about not being at the funeral on Friday. And wanting to write something here. However, I don’t know what to write. And I am very, very sad.

I called Celia “Aunty Celie”, although she was no relation and, more honestly, she was like a second mum to me. I loved her a lot, just like I love my actual mum.

Growing up, we (the Salmons) and the Thomas family would traverse each other's houses, often operating as one interchangeable unit. It was never a surprise to hear that one of my parents or siblings was at their house. Or to come downstairs and find Celie, Rodgie, Em, Beth or Reebo in our house. Celia especially.

Celia was like the nuclear reactor at the heart of that big family. She was always throwing parties, organising holidays, finding day trips, taking us to restaurants, enrolling us in sports camps, signing up for challenges and generally filling all of our days. Celia did things. Or, more honestly, she didn’t stop doing things. Ever. The Salmons are a happy-go-lucky bunch. The Thomas’ are happy-go-go-go. And that was my Aunty Celie.

She was a perpetual motion machine with a zest for life. This had the wholly intended consequence of improving the lives of everyone around her who she loved. Since she has passed, my brain has been consumed with memories. The sheer volume of smiles I can retrieve that start with Celia Thomas is a testament to the incredible way she was.

I don’t know another Celia. I probably never will. But I am very happy I did. She “left it all on the field”, as the saying goes.

Rest (or don't - your choice) in peace, Aunty Celie. I love you lots. xxx
Posted by Bridget W-W on March 27, 2021
I remember when your parents visited Japan and came into see KIST -Celia was so outgoing and just lovely. That was a brief meeting but I remember her warmth these years later and am so saddened to hear this news. I’m so sorry for your loss. Much love x
Posted by Rhys Thomas on March 27, 2021
In this moment, I Unravel like a ball of yarn
My twisted, braided skein falling apart
Life’s rich tapestry now seems so uninspired
Without its sympathetic seamstress

It is only now my eyes are open to the true finality of life,
A concept I once thought simple,
Now becomes very abstract....

But the colours of your memories remain so very vibrant,
dazzling like the fireflies we saw together on that hot Sri Lankan night
So warm and comforting, like your loving embrace

However, these tranquil moments were beautifully interweaved with spirit and vigour ,
as powerful as galloping water horses chasing the shore..... their final destination

And, there.... on the shore I stand
Waiting to receive your beacon of energy,
A flaming torch that will never fade
Because I will carry it for you

Posted by Helen Giles on March 27, 2021
Celia was an amazing, inspirational person who will remain in our hearts forever. I can’t remember a family occasion without Celia being there. We celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and holidays together.
I remember our wedding day when Celia arrived, looking fabulous as always, unfortunately Celia missed the service as she took our baby Ewan somewhere quiet for a sleep as he was screaming the place down. My 40th birthday, Celia turned up with a caterpillar birthday cake (Tomos chose it). 
I feel very lucky to have know Celia and think of her as family and always will. My heart goes out to Roger, Emma, Bethan and Rhys but hope they take comfort knowing how many people were touched by such a wonderful woman.
Forever in our hearts x
Posted by Jenny Francis on March 26, 2021
Celia, I only met you on a handful of occasions but when I did you always made me and everyone in your company feel at ease. You had a genuine interest in people and a compassion that was special.
Your sudden passing is such a shock and so hard to comprehend. My thoughts are with Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys and the rest of your family x
Posted by Carol Jenkins on March 26, 2021
I have so many lovely memories of days, evenings, weekends and holidays spent with Celia when our children were young and we were neighbours, friends and young mums together loving life. I remember Lisa telling us that she was going to marry Rhys and live in a caravan at the bottom of the garden with their children. How we laughed!

So very shocked and saddened to learn of Celia's passing. A very special lady. Thinking of you all at this difficult time. X
Posted by Stella Gunningham on March 26, 2021
I have never known such a kind and selfless person . Cecilia is part of an amazing kind family who, have always welcomed me and made me feel wanted . I will never forget the chats we had whilst we trained for Berlin Marathon together . She was full of such interesting information and I always ended a run a more informed and enlightened person in some way or other. Her abundance of resilience was contagious and she inspired me to keep going despite wanting to give up several times during a long run. Today is such a sad day as everyone tried to make sense of why someone so beautiful had to leave so soon . Thinking of you all and feeling grateful for being a tiny part of Celia’s life’s journey ❤️Xxxx
Posted by Vivienne Deacon on March 26, 2021
I've always admired your zest for life Celia, the fun and laughter you brought with you especially to our xmas parties and our concerts .The care and advice yu gave to so many will never be forgotten. Sending condolences to all your family at this very difficult time .R.I.PCelia
Posted by Jane Millar on March 26, 2021
I feel privileged to have known you. You have been so special to so many, I feel fortunate to have met you. I have such admiration for what you have tackled and achieved - an amazing inspiration to all of us. And all this with such a caring nature, with a nature of love and fun. You will stay in the hearts of many, and especially your family
With much love, Jane
Posted by Pierre French on March 26, 2021
I used to see Ceily when I visited Plants Brook Road as a good friend of Will's from St Philip's Grammar School. I ended up meeting Jane, their next door neighbour who I later married. It was a close-knit group -numbers 55 and 57
 Ceily was always smiling and easy to get along with; obviously highly intelligent with a really inquisitive mind. She was well informed and could argue her corner well and stuck to her guns. I lost many 'discussions' with her
That she went on and studied to become a GP was no surprise to me.
 Meeting her later on in life things just carried on as before, as though there had been no interlude. Her friendship was unconditional.
 Her passing will leave a hole in our lives which will never be filled.
 Pierre XX
Posted by Josh Steer on March 26, 2021
Celia was such a lovely person who was always so welcoming, approachable and easy to get along with. You were always smiling and chatty and even though we only met on a few occasions it felt like I had known you for 10 years. Your sudden passing is a huge shock to us all and you will be hugely missed by everyone. My thoughts go out to Roger,Emma, Bethan, Rhys and the rest of the family x
Posted by Karen Barrett on March 26, 2021
To Celia,
I first got to know you when you, Roger, Emma, Bethan and Rhys used to come to Ireland to visit Beezie when my brothers and I were young. We used to get so excited for your visits because we knew we were going to have fun.
Our days were filled with day trips you would organize like going on adventures such as visits to the beach where we’d pick cockles, watch the crabs, swim and we’d always have an ice cream on the way home.
I also remember you teaching us rounders and we’d play for hours in the field. You’d cook us supper in the evening and we’d eat it down in our beloved apple tree cottage.
There was also hilarious twister games after mountains of popcorn and lots of baking and the messiest, greenest Fungus the Bogeyman cake was all over Beezie’s kitchen one year.
I remember lots of tears from us all when you all had to leave to go home on the boat.
Over the years I visited your home in Cardiff and I got to know you as an adult. You were always so welcoming and I loved spending time with you all. We had great chats and thank you for encouraging me in my career and inspiring me to follow my dreams.
Celia, you were a brilliant memory maker for so many people. You organized so many occasions for family and friends and brought people together. You loved a good party and seeing people happy. I’ll never forget one year calling to your home and people shouting “surprise”, you had organized an 18th birthday for me.
You always thought of others and always sent a card when a new baby arrived or for a special birthday.
You helped and supported me and my family so much in January this year when our Dad was so ill and when he sadly passed away one of the first sympathy cards to arrive in the post that week was from you.
Our family is not the same without you. It is so hard to believe you are gone.
I hope that Roger, Emma, Carwyn, Tomos, Henri, Bethan and Rhys, Jess, Will and Chris can draw strength from all the love that so many people had for you Celia. I so wish we could go over to give them all big hugs. Sending lots of love to you all.

Lots of love to you Celia from Karen

Slan Abhaile Celia xxxxxx
Posted by Susan Wadden on March 25, 2021
Celia, you were a wonderful friend who will be so greatly missed.
You were such a thoughtful, kind and caring person who always had time and was interested in everyone.
You had such a zest for life and we loved spending time in your company.
We have lovely memories of our trips to France visiting Phil and Annick. We will always remember one particular evening, listening to our favourite songs and dancing along with them.
We will be eternally grateful for the guidance,wealth of experience and inspiration you gave to Victoria whilst she was doing her GP training with you.
Reading these tributes it shows how you touched and enriched the lives of so many people. You will remain forever in our hearts.
Love Sue and Anthony xx
Posted by Dionne Way on March 25, 2021
So many wonderful memories of Celia, she was an amazing woman and I am so lucky to have had the pleasure of knowing her through Outdoor Fitness. Celia always had such interesting stories and I was always blown away by her sheer determination and zest for life, my favourite memory is from the Coast 2 Coast event a group of us completed in Scotland. After finishing the two day event (in which Celia put most of us to shame) we all enjoyed a few drinks and on the bus journey back Celia regaled us stories and songs from her university days and had the whole bus in fits of laughter the whole journey.

OF and events won’t be the same without Celia and she will be sorely missed by so many people but her memory will forever live on.
Posted by Clare Phillips on March 25, 2021
There are no words to take away the pain of your sudden departure from this world.

You always made us feel welcome. We spent many summer holidays and weekends with you when we were little. Tracy and I even got a coach down to you and Roger to stay with Emma, Bethan and Rhys and we just knew it wouldn't be boring. Day trips to Roath Park, meals out, fairground trips, the beaches , there was never a dull moment. 

You always had time for everyone, I still do not know how you managed all you did in a day, You always listened and had time for everyone you met. 

What a truly inspirational lady, you have been taken far too soon but I have no doubt you will fly high and continue with your purpose in life from above. Always helping others. 

Your spirit will live on in your 3 beautiful children and Grandchildren. Fly high Cecilia. Love from Clare xxxxxxxxxx
Posted by Mel Steer on March 25, 2021

Dear Celia
You were a beautiful lady inside and out.  I had the pleasure of knowing you only since Jess and Rhys got together
Both you and Roger always made me very welcome in your home and your hospitality was amazing.
I enjoyed our Wedding Venue visits, wedding flower planning and soft furnishings shopping for Jess and Rhys’s new home.
You always asked how I was, so compassionate and cared.  Rhys is so much like you in that respect.
I am heartbroken that we will not be able to share Rhys and Jess’s Wedding Day and our future grandchildren growing up together.
The name Cecilia or Celia was a Roman name that was derived from Latin meaning ‘Heaven’, heaven means something perfect in every way and you were.
This is such a tragedy; the shock of your passing is so difficult to understand.  Sleep tight
All my love and condolences to Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys and family xx



Posted by Angela Bradley on March 25, 2021
Ceily was my cousin and my friend. She had so many amazing qualities but her greatest talent was her generosity of spirit. I never once rang her when she was too busy to talk. I will miss her wise council and gentle guidance. When our children were small we shared their trials or should I say our trials and tribulations. When the grandchildren came we celebrated our new chapter. She was the glue that kept our big Irish family together. She was always interested in what people were doing. She could learn more about someone in 5 mins than most of us could learn in a day. She was kind and caring and a wonderful travelling companion. I will miss our chats and getting together to solve the worlds problems over a glass of something. We are all better for having known her but rightly cross that she has gone too soon. Rest in Peace dear Friend. Xx
Posted by Elise Jenkins on March 25, 2021
Dear Celia,
Beatrice, Hugh Bear and I have known you for such a short time, but in that time you have shown us nothing but kindness, generosity, wisdom, and inspiration.
From spotting a five-year-old Bea had an infected finger (and not just a “sore baddie”) and needed a trip to A&E, while over the buffet at a family party; to no-nonsense life advice over Prosecco the night before Snowdonia marathon.
You are the centre and force of your family. You have shown such love, devotion, strength and energy to Emma and the boys, that we could only look on and wish we could be part of it.
Sharing bacon sandwiches and hot chocolate with you at sunrise on the Garth on New Year’s Day was the very best - and most hopeful - new year. It’s now all the more special.
Emma is so like you, and we’ll look after her.
Sleep well, Celia xxx
All our love, Elise, Beatrice and Hugh Bear xxx
Posted by Sian Trenberth on March 25, 2021
Celia was an extraordinary person. Whenever I saw her, I always used to enjoy getting her take on life. She was wise, kind and had so much experience of so many things. I was fortunate to photograph Celia and her family together and could see that she was part of a close and special family. My heartfelt condolences to all the family. My thoughts are also with Celia's countless friends, who also valued her so much.
Posted by William Mullen on March 25, 2021
To my dearest sister

My first memories of you were when you were born, or rather when you came home just after your birth. I stood at the top of the steps at 57 Plants Brook Road nervously awaiting your arrival. I wondered what having a little sister would be like. I was two and a half years old and it is my first memory.

I asked our parents to call you Hank, after Hank the cowboy, but instead they called you Cecilia because you were born near Saint Cecilia‘s day and I was given a budgie, which I called Hank. We spent many very happy years, playing with our neighbours, all of whom we knew well. It was a carefree outdoor childhood typical of the 50s and 60s. The most traumatic memory of my childhood was when you were struck by a car as you crossed the road behind a bus in Walmley village. You must have been about seven or eight years old: the first we knew of it was confused reports from neighbours and for a while we were not certain if you had survived. You were badly injured and spent several weeks in hospital and initially I wasn’t allowed to visit you. I was actually frightened when I first visited you because I was told that you were badly scarred. When you finally came home you were given a poodle as a coming home present. You called the dog Pookie.

How we looked forward to Friday nights when dad would come home, having received his pay packet, and armed with sweets. Mum took on lots of part-time jobs in order to save to take us away on holidays in the Summer. Her best job was working at Schweppes on late evening shifts. Dad would take us to collect her so that she would not have to walk home in the dark. Do you remember her bringing Coca-Cola concentrate home for us?

Holidays were special times mostly spent on the farm at Drumdowney playing in the hay barn, collecting eggs or helping with straw baling. I remember caravan holidays at Morfa Beach, Conwy. The stationmaster at Penmaenmawr taught us to pronounce Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.
The biggest room in the bungalow was the hallway which had parquet flooring. Mum used to tie dusters to our feet and we used to skate around to polish the floor. Jane from next door used to join us. Later on as we grew up we met members of the opposite sex through each other. My boyfriends and your girlfriends paired up. We had so many fun times together, then I went to London and you went to Cardiff and of course we saw each other less often but we had the joy of bringing up our families together.

I still feel you are part of me and I miss you terribly. You brought so much love to this world and this world is a smaller place without you. You live on in those you have touched. God bless my lovely sister.

Posted by Christine Mullen on March 25, 2021
To a very special sister and sister-in-law

When someone as loved, admired and respected as Ceily disappears so suddenly and unexpectedly, the world seems very empty. It is so difficult to capture in words our emotions and the feelings of loss and sadness.

Ceily, we echo all the beautiful sentiments expressed by your family, friends and colleagues in their heartfelt tributes. You were indeed a phenomenon of nature of the like rarely seen: you never wasted time but packed it with energy, dynamism and fun. In times to come it will be a comfort to remember your passion for life and that you lived it to the full.

Ceily, you touched and enriched countless lives. It is wonderful to think how, as a talented, caring and compassionate doctor, you helped, and indeed saved, so many people, including your own brother Will, for which our family is forever grateful. We will never forget your devotion to Albert and Beezie and your unstinting care for Mum in Cardiff. Trained by you, innumerable doctors will be continuing your work and, inspired by you, will remember your skill, wisdom and dedication.

We will especially remember the very happy times we spent together when we were newly married couples and when the children were growing up. You always were full of ideas for fun activities, even though a trip to the ballet ‘Swine Lake’ did not go down so well with young Rhys and David. Thanks also for organising and enlivening those great big family parties. It is so sad that our grandchildren will not know their one and only great aunt but they will certainly hear lots about you.

Your loss is so hard to bear for us all but especially for Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys, Carwyn, Jess, Tomos and Henri to whom we send our love. Your spirit lives on through them and in the precious memories they share.

We love and will miss you dreadfully Ceily. God bless you for making the world a better place, RIP.

Posted by Debbie Goodkin on March 25, 2021
Joy and I met Celia and Meryl on our trip to India in 2014. We had such fun with them that I think their company was more memorable than the actual trip. We've also had great fun when we've met up in the intervening years. I can't believe we'll not be able to see Celia again.

Condolences to all the family
Posted by Alexandra Wilowska on March 24, 2021
Cecilia was just one of the loveliest, most caring, people, and meant so much to my mother and hence the rest of us. It is so hard to believe that she is no longer here.
My mother Georgina Smith (now 92) is probably the oldest remaining member of Cecilia’s father Albert’s side of the family. Mum was a first cousin of Uncle Albert – his mother Elizabeth (Lizzie) was an elder sister of my grandmother Florence. By all accounts Lizzie was a lively, sociable character with a keen sense of fun who lived life to the full; perhaps some of those traits were passed down to her granddaughter Cecilia. Unfortunately Lizzie fell ill and died when Albert was just a toddler. Albert then lived mostly with his grandmother (my great-grandmother) until he married Beezie, whom he had met when she was lodging with another relation of ours. Mum always maintained a close connection with Albert and subsequently Beezie too.

My parents settled in North Devon, and from the age of around 12 Cecilia frequently came to visit us (often with brother William of course). I was around 3 when she first came and have looked up to her for as long as I can remember – as a child I always looked forward to her visits; she had that knack of making one feel special, even when it must have been a pain in the neck as an older teenager dealing with us smaller children. The neighbours in Devon even now remember her, especially for a then-very-stylish psychedelic frock that she wore one year! The visits continued all the way through medical school, Cecilia sometimes coming with friends of hers too.

One year (Mum thinks they came for a weekend following a week’s placement at a Devon hospital), Cecilia brought her Welsh boyfriend with her. This was the first time we’d met Roger and of course everyone liked him. My younger brother Peter came straight out over Sunday lunch and said ‘Hey Roger, are you going to marry Cecilia?’ Mum glossed over it with a ‘time will tell’. Time obviously did tell, and in due course we were all invited to the wedding. My little brothers Peter and John made their mark there too; they had each brought a favourite small cuddly toy to the church and had been seated at the aisle end of our pew for a better view. As the newly-married couple walked back down the aisle past us, Peter, impressed by the length of Cecilia’s train, darted out to place his toy companion for a ride on the train, and John followed suit, so Cecilia’s bridal ensemble was enhanced by a couple of passengers!

As I grew up it was lovely to keep in touch with Cecilia. Pretty much the day after I completed final exams in Bristol I went over to Cardiff with my own boyfriend Marek to see the Thomas family and the children (possibly then just Emma and Bethan) flung themselves at Marek and clambered all over him. Perhaps that was their sign of approval as, some years later, I married Marek in Devon with Cecilia and Beezie among the guests. We then moved overseas for a few years then relocated to NE Scotland, so saw Cecilia less frequently in person but stayed in touch, and she was always kind and generous to our own two sons. We were delighted that she and Roger came up to stay with us for a weekend a few years back. Of course, being Cecilia, this was not just an ordinary weekend break but timed so that she could take part with us in the annual Balmoral 10km run in which she left us for dust.

Mum stayed in very close contact with Cecilia and enjoyed their regular phone calls and occasional visits and always updated me with the latest news from the Thomas family. Bethan did a teaching placement in Devon so the tradition of visiting Mum continued with the next generation. Both of my parents had been nurses and enjoyed medical chats with Cecilia and were always interested in her view of particular medical circumstances. She really was a cornerstone of Mum’s side of the family and a fabulous role model for me – although I still don’t know how she managed to pack so much into her life! We are devastated that she has left this world far too soon but we have such fond memories and it was an absolute joy to be related to her.

With much love to you all, from Alexandra Wilowska & Marek, Kazio and Rafał Wilowski
Posted by Clare McDonagh on March 24, 2021
Dear Roger, Emma, Bethan & Rhys

My absolute heartfelt condolences to you all.

Celia was a remarkable woman and a truly inspiring GP trainer. She made General Practice look easy and I feel both privileged and blessed, to have known her. I hope that despite the cruel shock of her sudden and unexpected passing, you can all take comfort knowing it was a ‘light switch moment’ with very little suffering. More, that Celia was getting the most out of life, enjoying a happy whirlwind of family, hobbies, travel, social events and good friends, right up to and including the day she died...

“You can remember her and only that she’s gone or you can cherish the memory and let it live on”

Rest peacefully lovely lady xxx

Posted by Anthony Derrick on March 23, 2021
As chairman of Whitchurch Cycling Club we were so blessed to have Celia as a member, who shared her passion to cycle with some many of our adult members. Her friendship, charm and happiness shone through to our members
Posted by Aisling Pigott on March 23, 2021
I've loved getting to know Celia at outdoor fitness over the past 10ish years. Her chats (she was great at chatting), wit, humour and words of wisdom always brightened my days (and early mornings). She was an inspiration... balancing work, family, travel and exercise with such ease, whilst taking an interest in everyone around her. We will miss her so much. x
Posted by Peter Lowdon on March 23, 2021
Celia, you were an amazing lady in so many ways and the shock of your passing is difficult to understand at this time.

It was just a few months ago, during one of my regular visits working on your garden that you showed me a picture of a plant you really liked.

Luckily I managed to get hold of one and without telling you, I planted it in your back garden. Unfortunately we’ll never get the moment where I would have surprised you with it as it blooms in the spring.

Rest in peace xxx
Posted by Diane O 'Connell on March 23, 2021
I first met Celia when I joined Brynderwyn 14 Years ago . She was an amazing woman. Always full of energy, giving love, help and support to everyone that she met .

As a Doctor, she was compassionate, caring and always took time to listen . During lockdown Celia took time to talk to my sister via video link as she was suffering with an abcess in her mouth and dentists were closed. My sister was extremely anxious due to previous history and Celia was a calming influence, offering her guidance on how and where she could seek help. This was very much appreciated and my sister often commented how helpful Celia had been that day.

I would often talk to Celia about cycling as I had taken up this hobby about 18 months ago. She said that after lockdown we should have a ride out together. Sadly this will never happen but her enthusiasm for the sport encouraged me immensely.

Celia was always supportive of any fund raising activity I undertook, making donations even when away from Brynderwen. It showed what a generous person she was.

Celia was fun to be around, boosting moral and she will be very much missed.

RIP xx
Posted by Sandra Wijeratne on March 23, 2021
I first met Celia when we shared a table in a crowded Coffee#1 on Albany Rd. She was with her mother in law and I was with my mum and my, then toddler, eldest son Rhys, now 15 yrs old. In true Welsh style, we got chatting and quickly established connections and worked out that Celia lived on the same road as us and that her father in law was my old school headmaster back in Aberaeron. Little did I know then that this chatty, friendly lady with roots in Sutton Coldfield had developed a strong bond with and love for Aberaeron and that in the future, my family would be her and Roger’s weekend guests in Aberaeron during which she’d always manage to dig out some school memorabilia that was of interest and we’d catch up on Aberaeron news!

Fast forward from that first meeting and our paths crossed again when our second son, Aled, became one of her grandson’s best friends in school and as a result of that friendship, I met and became friends with Emma who brought me back full circle to Celia. She became my gym class mate, my school gate buddy, my Kumon companion, my swim lesson poolside company and walking companion, usually with children in tow! Our most recent activities together, aside from walking, were enjoying the seaside in west Wales, crabbing on Aberaeron pier and sipping gin & tonics pre supper at the Hive and Harbourmaster in Aberaeron.

Everything Celia did was done with energy, enthusiasm, love, affection and a huge sense of fun. She had the rare capability of being attentive and enjoyable company no matter who you were or what you had to say - she was able to enjoy being with everyone. She’s been taken from this world way before the world should have let her go and it will be a sadder place for it, because she had so much left to do and give, but we can only take comfort that she didn’t waste a single minute of the time she was given. She left a positive impression on everyone she came into contact with and her passing has made a huge impact on every single one of us in our home.

Her legacy will live on forever.

Cysga’n dawel Celia❤️
Pob cariad
Sandra, Vin, Rhys ac Aled
Posted by Tomos Williams on March 22, 2021
My Nani

Life was never boring with Nani, she always had something planned for Henri and I.

Sometimes they were big things like wonderful holidays to Florida , Lapland, Skiing in Praz and weekend trips to Aberaeron.

But it was the little things I loved the most

A Sunday dinner with marmite gravy followed by a board game in the lounge.

Encouraging me to swim at David Lloyd and coming to my cycling races (and sometimes entering a race herself!)

Helping me with my Kumon maths and then treating me to a little Mc Donalds after.

Organising Easter egg hunts in north wales with Siwan, Dilwyn, Twm and Sion.

Baking cakes and letting us lick the bowl and teaching us to toss pancakes in her kitchen. She didn’t even mind if there was a mess! 

Crabbing competitions in Aberaeron (always outside the harbour master where she said the best crabs were)

Organising a sweep stake for the rugby six nations - she always made everything fun.

She loved nature and would take us to smell the flowers in Roath park, she taught us the names of trees and would be pointing out the birds in the garden who had come to feed on her bird feeders.

There was always a Percy pig and a pound at the bottom of her merry poppins hand bag.

Even covid didn’t stop her and as soon as restrictions allowed in the summer, she took us on holiday to Greece where she did lots of cycling and was crowned Queen of the Mountains

She was very wise and would always tell me “patience is a virtue” and “tomorrow never comes” - always suggesting we loved for the moment.

I will always remember Nani for reminding me that anything is possible and for always being there for us.

Love you Nani xx
Posted by Ruth Burgess on March 22, 2021
I knew Celia as a childhood friend. We grew up together in Walmley. We formed a trio of friends with Jane her neighbour. We played, laughed, danced and shared stories but I can’t ever remember us falling out. We just got on together, a happy band of like minded kids with not a problem in the world. Even though I only knew her for this brief period of my life I have, and will always, remember her and think myself lucky to have shared the time we did together. Celia left her mark on whomever she touched, be that as lightly as a feather, her mark will always be felt. May she live on in the hearts of all she encountered. Her drive and passion will live on but sadly it’s time for her body to rest. May it rest in peace.
Posted by Moira Thomas on March 20, 2021
Celia & I met forty two years ago when Keith & I got married . Then, Celia, Roger & Keith were young doctors. Celia a trainee GP, Roger & Keith in Microbiology. We became firm friends instantly. After work we often all went to our house for dinner & an evening putting the world to rights. Celia & I became pregnant about the same time with Emma being born just weeks before our son. Throughout pregnancy Celia supported & taught me everything she knew about the birth & babies. Celia would frequently practice her obstetrics on my bump as she couldn't practice on her own bump. She organised our antenatal visits together so we didn't miss anything. How we laughed, shopped till we dropped then became mum's. Keith & I moved away from Wales but we never lost touch. When we returned picked up as if there was no gap. We had so many lunches, dinners, shopping trips, spa days that I will never forget. Celia was the most wonderful, caring, kind friend always putting others before herself. I cannot imagine life without Celia, she will be in my heart forever.
Keith's & my heartfelt thoughts are with Roger, Emma, Bethan & Rhys, with all our love.
Posted by Jane French on March 20, 2021
Ceily, you were my first ever friend along with your brother Will. As neighbours and friends we enjoyed a loving childhood and the memories of that particularly special time will remain part of us forever. I can’t believe you have passed away and feel as if I have lost a part of myself. However, we will cherish those memories and make sure your family know all about the fantastic times we had. You were simply the best, a fabulous friend who lived live to the full.
Rest in peace Ceily and shine your strength and determination on us all.
Your loving friend Jane x
(Emoji of roller skates)
Ps: Just in case you need them! Much better looking than the ones we had!

Posted by Andrew Fairhurst on March 20, 2021
Hello Roger and family .
May I offer my condolences and say how sorry I am to hear of your loss. Celia was such a wonderful person. I have many happy memories of our students days in Cardiff and the antics that we all got up to.
I cannot imagine how you must be feeling but you are in my thoughts. Be kind to yourself. Melys ywr atgofion. Andrew
Posted by Catrin MacLaughlan on March 20, 2021
Dear Celia,

It’s difficult to believe that it was only 2 weeks today that I was sat at your kitchen table drinking hot chocolate and catching up with you and Meryl - with Roger popping in periodically to make sure he didn’t miss any gossip and of course to wind you up, in that endearing way that only he could!

Aberaeron was a big topic of conversation and we were both chomping at the bit to get down to Aberaeron again and pay a long overdue visit to The Hive.
The mood was so jovial and optimistic.

Little did I think that this would be the last time that I would see you.
Less than 24 hours later,you were gone and I remain in shock and disbelief at your passing.

You were an absolutely amazing woman - successful in everything you did (and you did a lot!) and an inspiration to all.
You had a genuine interest in people and always gave them your undivided attention, treating everyone the same - the tributes from your patients,staff, colleagues and friends clearly illustrate this.

You were so positive, strong and determined but never at the expense of empathy, kindness and compassion. To be able to do that takes a very special person.

I must apologise to you for all the times that Macsen (my spaniel with no conscience) triggered off your dog allergies. The more I tried to keep him away from you, the more determined he was to “win you over”. He saw you as a challenge to be conquered! The more your eyes ran,the more he wanted to get nearer to console you!

Thank you for the privilege of knowing you and having you as a friend. Thank you for your guidance and encouragement and for sharing your wealth of experience of general practice. Thank you for the kindness and compassion you have showed me, especially in the last few years since having to retire from practice. I will never forget you.

Yes, you left too soon, but you left doing something you absolutely loved. You squeezed so much into your life and you managed to do that up until the very last second.

With my heart filled with sadness but also with admiration and gratitude, goodbye Celia.

Rest in peace.

Even through her sudden death, I think that Celia continues to guide us by reminding us that life is fragile, the present moment is precious and we should make the most of it.

Posted by Sarah Hunt on March 20, 2021
What a wonderful lady.. I had the pleasure of coaching her swimming first at Outdoor Fitness Swim club where our friendship started there and later at David Lloyd. She always strived to be the best she could in the pool. Always a welcoming smile.
Good night lovely lady xxxxx
Posted by Anne-Maria Salmon on March 20, 2021
Writing this is one of the most difficult things to do , as now I have to acknowledge that we will never again be seeing you in person , never again sit together , chat happily away , go out for lunch or coffee together .
I first met you as you were my sister Mary’s best friend , you started Bishop Walsh school when it opened , 1966 I think and the building was far from finished . I started there the next year and we all at saw the school building happening around us as the building was gradually completed . Before I went to the school , I remember you coming over to our house , it was a warm day , you and Mary sat in the garden on the tartan car rug , sitting against the wooden extension room we had at the back of the house , I remember wishing I had hair like yours , long , thick and a lovely colour .
Who knew then that we would still know each other and be such great friends all these years later. 
I can remember going to your bungalow with you and Mary and your mum , Beezie , giving me a cup of tea with sterilised milk in it , or Stera ‘ as it was often called , I thought it was wonderful , I went home and told my mother about it hopeful she would buy some , she didn’t . Beezie and I laughed about this only a few years before she left this world. 

When I moved to Cardiff around 30 years ago we found ourselves living close to each other and with Emma , Bethan and Rhys being similar ages as Tom , Alice and Lucy  and Grace still a baby ,we found we spent many hours together , becoming like a very close family , helping each other and spending many hours all together, . So many funny moments , meals , visits places , shopping trips whilst trying to keep track of and watch over all the children , which sometimes was an almost impossible task as they scattered in different directions especially if we were at the beach.
You had such a zest for life , often rushing about trying to pack so much in that I wondered if it would be possible to do what you’d planned but it always was .
We have wonderful memories some great trips together , those visits to Alton Towers will never be forgotten , those blooming swan boats you got me to ride in , that seemed to crawl along hardly moving , the ghost train that made you almost jump out of the seat a few times and those water slides where you would end up going down the fastest route whilst I was on the slowest .
We have enjoyed so many children’s parties and family weddings together , got excited about our grandchildren’s arrivals and watching them all grow.
You meant so very much to us Cecelia , you were an amazing mother , a wonderful friend to us all , an excellent and very knowledgable doctor , you did everything at ‘100 miles an hour’ including your Christmas shopping which always impressed me .However , the same speed didn’t always work for the Supermarket online shopping as that sometimes went a bit chaotic , like the time you clicked on a saved basket forgetting it was full of Christmas and New year shopping ending up with a delivery full of special treats when the last lot had just been eaten . Problem was solved by a few phone calls of “ come over and eat “ to us and other friends.

I can’t put into words how much you were loved and will be so very missed by myself and all of my family and indeed by everyone who’s lives you touched .

The world was a great place with you in it Celia , you will always be very fondly remembered .


Posted by Siwan Gwilym on March 19, 2021
Englyn er cof am Celia gan dad (Cen Williams)

Un ddoeth, garedig oedd hi – a’i hafiaith
     Fel hafau’n ein llonni;
  Un annwyl, frwd lawn ynni,
  Ein trysor, ein angor ni.
Posted by Paula Healan on March 19, 2021
Celia it has been a blast working with you for the last 14 years
Who will call me Aunty Paula now and refer patients to me for Aunty Paula chats ??
Our last day working together all we did was giggle , you were so full of life , full of fun and wickedness
My dear friend I will miss you so much Good night sleep tight Celia xxx

Posted by Geraldine Walsh on March 19, 2021
Celia, I remember the first day I started work at the surgery - almost 34 years ago. I recall the practice manager at that time introducing me to you. You had come up from Minster Road for the weekly partners meeting. You bounded into my room and on shaking my hand, very enthusiastically, you welcomed me hoping I would be happy working at the practice. Although you worked mainly at Minster Road whenever you were at Brynderwen you always popped up to have a chat, asked how my family were and we chatted about your family /grandchildren. One day some years ago, I bumped into whilst I was out cycling. You said to me "I didn't realise you cycled" I remember saying to you "celia give up the running it's bad for your knees, go and get yourself a bike. Some weeks later you came to Brynderwen and told me you had bought a bike. The rest is history, you were hooked and like everything else you did in life gave it150%. You were full of life and truly a lovely lady to work with. I know your family will miss you so much but your great strength will help them enormously. If there are bikes in heaven, you will be on one I know. Rest in peace Celia.
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Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by A C on April 13, 2021
From Antonia Luscombe-Whyte

I have just heard devastating news.
I am so, so sorry to hear of Dr Thomas's sudden death. 
I know will be a massive loss to family, colleagues and patients. I knew her as a passionate, caring woman who did so much to help others and left the world a lesser place without her in it.
With love and prayers to family and friends who will no doubt be left reeling.

Posted by Michael Pasquin on April 13, 2021
Cysga'n Dawel, your Mother was a lovely, gentle person, and I am and I am already missing her terribly – and I’m only a patient.

I know you live in Japan from choice because you like their way of life, and probably can’t get home. My thoughts are with you as well.

Nick. (
Posted by Louisa Wilson on April 11, 2021
Dear Roger and family,
Chris and I are so very sorry to hear about Celia.
I loved working with her in St Mellons. She was always a supportive colleague, a great doctor with a fantastic work ethic and so full of energy and fun.
I’ve been very moved by your wonderful eulogy and realise how much you will all miss her.
Very best wishes,
Louisa and Chris Wilson
Recent stories

From the weekly National RCGP email

Shared by Emma Williams on April 1, 2021
Dr Celia Thomas

1954 - 2021

It was with extreme sadness that we were informed of the sudden death of our partner Cecilia Thomas on Sunday 7 March 2021. Celia as she was known had been a partner at the practice for almost 40 years. She joined Minster Surgery initially as a trainee GP in 1981 and returned in 1984 as a Partner.  At that time the surgery was based at its original premises on Newport Rd. Celia was part of the team who oversaw the rapid expansion of the practice into St. Mellons in 1985 and the relocation from Newport Rd to its current site on Minster Rd in 1988.  
Celia was always a keen educator of trainee GPs and medical students. She became a GP trainer in 1988 and in 1996 she was appointed as an Honorary Clinical Lecturer for Cardiff University.  For many years she also led a popular study module on medicine in literature for third year students which culminated in an annual visit to the Hay Book Festival. 

During her time as an RCGP trainer she was appointed as the Programme Director of the Cardiff post graduate training scheme in 1990. Providing pastoral support and career guidance to hundreds of trainee GPs. Tributes from former trainees have described her as an inspirational trainer and wonderful teacher and her services to the RCGP were further recognised when she was appointed as a Fellow of the College. 

In addition to her busy professional life Celia also found time to pursue numerous hobbies and interests, she was a keen cyclist, runner, swimmer and skier. She regularly participated in outdoor fitness sessions at 6 am and enjoyed trips to the Theatre.

Celia was a kind, caring and compassionate GP who was able to provide truly holistic care in the best tradition of General Practice. She often seemed to have a 6th sense for getting to the true cause of patients’ problems or sniffing out danger and acting on it. She was always available for advice to clinical and other practice staff. 

Celia was also a loving wife to Roger, mother to Emma, Bethan and Rhys and grandmother to Tomos and Henri. 

She will be sorely missed by all of those who were lucky enough to work with her over the past 38 years and get to know her as a friend and colleague. She will leave a huge hole in the life of our surgeries but of course our deepest sympathies extend to her family at this sad time
Shared by Bethan McMinn on March 26, 2021
It’s so hard to write this as the reality of losing such a wonderful woman in such a sudden, unexpected way has not really sunk in. I cannot imagine how your family are feeling and I am thinking of them a lot and wishing them all the strength and courage in the world. Thank you Celia for bringing so much joy and positivity into all our lives. You were always up for a laugh and a challenge and I had the honour of sharing many with you. The coast to coast event in Scotland stands out as one of the most memorable. I was always in awe of the fact that despite being many years my senior you were so much fitter and you had already had a few Proseccos by the time I finished :-) I also recall you deciding to cycle to Merthyr Mawr session because you’d heard others were doing it and you couldn’t miss out. Even though you admitted to me during the sandune session that you were starting to regret the decision to cycle, you still declined my offer of a lift home. You had to see things through and that’a one of the many qualities I admire about you. I’m not sure if I’ll ever meet such a headstrong, determined, fit and active, sociable woman with such a thirst for life and challenge as you. You are one of a kind and will be forever missed.

Goodbye Mum

Shared by Emma Williams on March 27, 2021
To our exceptional mum (our eulogy read at the funeral

…. from Emma, Bethan and Rhys

Our Mum’s life was exceptional in so many ways.

She was a loving, caring and devoted wife, daughter, sister, mother, mother in law and Nani. She was a compassionate, dedicated doctor, colleague, teacher, mentor and friend to so many. And of course she was a determined athlete taking up marathon running, cycling and triathlons in later life.

And yet, as exceptional as her life was, she never believed that what she did was more than any of us can do.

She shied away from any sort of recognition – we would often find out months later that she had won a triathlon or running event or received a prestigious award for her work as a GP trainer.She was never one to brag about her accomplishments. She was confident; focussed on her own goals and destination – but she was humble; she didn’t need to keep stopping to tell everyone where she was going.

As children, she taught us that we could do whatever we wanted to do in life and there were no limits on what we can achieve so long as we were willing to work hard and persevere.

Hard work was a defining feature of mum. Her work ethic was like no other – you can count on one hand the days she missed off work in 40 years and these few days off were accounted for following enforced recovery periods after back and knee surgery. If the recommended recovery period following a knee operation was 3 months, guaranteed mum would be walking after 3 days.

I remember as a little girl I broke my left arm (I am lefthanded – this is important to the story). It was a nasty break and I was in hospital for a week having metal plates put in my arm. Once I was out of hospital, I was absolutely fine but was hoping for a few extra days off school so I was incredulous when mum explained that I was perfectly well enough to go back to schoolimmediately. I pleaded that there was no point going to school as I couldn’t write anything anyway. Her response…..“you may not be able to write Emma, but you can listen” and off I went to school with Mum reminding me that you “get what you work for, not what you wish for.

As girls, she taught Bethan and I how to be independent, strong and fearless- she was an amazing role model, leading by example and showing us how to confidently be ourselves. Although the proportion of women studying medicine has made significant gains over the decades, female medical students were still in the minority when mum went to university. This did not stop mum who not only went on to be a well-respected GP, working full time at the same practice for 40 years whilst at the same time raising 3 children, she also mentored and trained countless GP registrars providing them with invaluable teaching and guidance so they could further their own careers and fulfil their own dreams.

Lots of people have said over the last few weeks that “her zest for life was contagious.” And so it was. She was 100 miles an hour, not wasting a second of life; filling every moment with family, friends, work and fun. Over the years our house at Lake Road East was a home that hosted numerous parties, countless meals, family gatherings and magical Christmas days full of food, board games, loveand laughter.

Mum never said no to a challenge and her gutsy determination was inspirational (and sometimes a little scary).I remember one year we had signed up to do the Snowdonia marathon – billed as the toughest marathon in Europe. It was late October and the weather was terrible, there was howling wind and torrential rain and significant numbers of people were dropping out the race. The idea of running a marathon in those conditions was awful and I suggested that perhaps we might want to reconsider this as, at the time, we were newbie runners after all. It probably wasn’t even safe I told her. However, quitting was never an option for mum and I remember her telling me that despite the fact that she was “so wet even her knickers were soaked through”that we were going to run it and that was that. So we did. And we lovedit and ran it again and again completing it together numerous times over subsequent years. I spoke to her friend recently and mum was apparently regaling this story about her “wet knickers”on their bike ride on the day she died – she did tell a good story!

Mum made everything fun – our long marathon training runs always ended with a hot chocolate and cake. Once she ran 26 miles to a Vineyard where she stopped for some wine tasting. This ended up being good practice for the marathon we ran in the medoc region of France a few years later, which involved 23 wine tasting stops along the course! If the Snowdon marathon was the hardest in Europe, this was definitely the longest….

Mum had a no-nonsense approach to life – just roll your sleeves up and get on with it. No messing, no fluffiness around the edges. She was “hardcore” as so many people would say yet she was thoughtful, loving and generous and always giving a little more kindness and love than was expected- because it was innate to her.

Mum treated everyone equally and was interested in everyone. She was inquisitive and curious –never afraid to ask questions that showed how much she cared. As a doctor she never gave up, always seeking the best for her patients and was relentless in her search for the underlying causes, answers, and remedies. She was always asking“what else might be going on?” to help explain undiagnosed conditions and was always going the extra mile. She undoubtedly saved countless lives.

As children, Mum was always our greatest supporter. There was a time when Bethan was competing in the Welsh Schools XC championships in the aftermath of a storm. The thick mud covering the course sapped her energy and she slid from side to side as she attempted to ascend the final incline, a narrow muddy track through some trees. Her legs felt like lead and she just couldn’t find her balance; her hopes of making the Welsh team began to quickly fade.....until Mum gave her a helping hand! She reached over the barrier separating the athletes from the spectators and proceeded to give her backside a loving, yet forceful push, helping her to scramble to the top.

In more recent years she supported and encouraged Bethan to follow her dreams and passions. She understood her wanderlust and never once made her feel guilty for living so far away. Instead, she would always look for the silver lining. That was her forte. For her, the physical distance was an opportunity to travel and have exciting adventures together. Bethan said she will never forget the times they shared a sunset yogasession on a rooftop in Kerala, getting lost in the souks of Tunis, climbing waterfalls in Okinawa, and their kayaking escapades in Langkawi.

Mum was always up for anything and would often say that she would try anything once apart from “incest and Morris dancing” which was her favourite quote, often attributed to Oscar Wilde. And Rhys can attest she stayed true to her word on this one!

Recently, Rhys has been spending his free time playing drums in a (very!) heavy metal group called “copehilldown”. Now mum certainly liked music, but more of the sort of ABBA and Celine Dion vibe. Meatloaf or Greenday was probably as heavy as it got for her.

Rhys’ band were billed to play a gig in a small venue called “fuel” in Cardiff, an exclusively heavymetal club containing all the delinquent look- a -likes you could think of. Mum was desperately keen to go, despite Rhysadvising against it as it “probably wasn’t her thing”. Rhys’band played a good set and managed to get a bit of a “mosh pit” going on. After the set one of Rhys’ close friends who attended ran up to him and saidI’m so sorry!!!” Shocked at his remark Rhys asked him what had happened and he told Rhys that mum had proceeded to enter the mosh pit area and had accidentally been elbowed by him in the face!! That was mum, always there to support and encourage her children in any way possible, even if it meant at the expense of her facial bones and ear drums.

As an adult, she became my best friend, advisor and confidante. Her greatest quality was to encourage me to make the best of everything and to face problems head on. She believed that there was no obstacle that couldn’t be overcome. Whenever I wasn’t sure about something, she was always my go to. Always. She was a problem solver…. minutes after my phone call she would be at my door saying “Right Emma…. Let’s think this through….”.  She never let me down. And she believed in all of us even when we did not believe in ourselves. It is hard to believe that she is no longer here to gently persuade us to do what we set out to do with a light but firm hand on our shoulder (or bottom in the case of Bethan).

On New Year’s Day morning this year we got up early and walked to the top of the Garth mountain to watch the sunrise. We sat there discussing all the trips we would have together this year once Covid restrictions were lifted and we could travel again. I can’t believe that we won’t have another adventure together but mum, I promise you we will live life like you did! We will dream big, stay positive, work hard and enjoy the journey until the very end.

As we all start new chapters of our lives, Rhys and Jess getting married, Bethan moving to Seoul and Tomosstarting high school, it breaks our hearts that she won’t be part of these new adventures but we will all treasure the memories we have.

She was a shining example of the very best in humanity and the world is a poorer place without her. She is gone far too soon but she has left an imprint on this world that will never be forgotten.

And as for Bethan, Rhys and I….. JK Rowling said it best “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever

As one of her friends recently said, wherever she is, I hope she is still up at 6am to do squats and burpees before work.

Cysga’ndawel mam.