THE devastated family of a woman who loved everything to do with flowers have paid tribute to her.
Heather Ayling died from cancer in May this year.
The 66-year-old of Whitworth Road, Gosport, who owned and ran Zodiac Florist for 40 years, had returned from a holiday with her husband Steve Ayling, 60. He said: ‘She was diagnosed with liver cancer only six weeks ago.
‘We noticed she had lost a lot of weight and so had tests at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
‘We were devastated when they told us she had secondary cancer.
‘They believe it spread from the breast, but she never showed any signs before.’
Mrs Ayling grew up with flowers as her mother owned a florist in Forton Road.
She then decided to open her own shop in Whitworth Road, which will now be run by her son Adam, 32.
He said: ‘Mum would always say it how it was and I think that’s why customers liked coming to her.
‘She would do things like take flower orders from people in the forces and say they could settle their bill when they came back home.
‘They might say to her they weren’t sure if they were coming back, and her attitude was they were giving their lives for this country, so it didn’t matter.
‘She was full of life and we can’t believe this has happened.’
Heather’s request was to have a four-horsedrawn carriage, which was carried out by the family.
Her funeral took place at Portchester Crematorium.
She is survived by sons Adam, Richard, 35, and grandchildren Tia-Jade, 15, Louie, 27, Megan, 21, Ellie, 18, and Jake, one.