Coral Webber died peacefully at The Rowans Hospice, aged 84.
She is survived by her son Nigel and daughter Jo, and five grandchildren.
Mrs Webber’s family said that she had a ‘real spirit of generosity and was tireless with both time and energy’.
Nigel said: ‘Volunteering came naturally to Coral because of her truly supportive nature. She believed that people should always try to give something back to the community if they can.’
Mrs Webber’s daughter-in-law Tessa Webber added: ‘She was one of those people who had time for everyone, and such a hands-on member of the family. She was always looking at ways she could make someone’s life better.’
Born in Rochester Road, Southsea, on August 24, 1932, Mrs Webber started her career in education in the 1960s as a classroom assistant at Copnor Infant School.
She then took on a variety of roles at Highbury College from 1982, including administrator of the college’s Unicorn Centre and student admissions and advice manager.
When she retired in 1997, Mrs Webber was awarded an MBE for her services to education. This was during a three-year stint as director of Portsmouth’s branch of Samaritans from 1995, where she had already volunteered for 13 years.
Shiela Langford, a volunteer who worked closely with Mrs Webber, said: ‘She was one of the most gentle souls you could wish to meet, and always made sure she could get the best out of everybody.’
After Samaritans, Mrs Webber returned to Copnor Infants as governor, and later chairwoman of governors. In later life, Mrs Webber was an integral volunteer at the Wessex Cancer Care Trust’s centre in Cosham.
Counsellor at the centre Gina Kelly said: ‘There are times in life where we are touched by truly special people, one of these times for me was meeting Coral. She was such an inspirational lady who gave so much more than her time to the centre.’
A service of celebration will be held at The Oaks Crematorium, Havant on December 1 at 10.45am.
All friends and family are welcome. Donations can be made to Samaritans or Wessex Cancer Trust.