On Friday, Julie Erridge’s friends and family came together in a celebration of her life and what would have been her 50th birthday, at the Queens Hotel in Southsea, raising £3,000 for the Rowans Hospice in the process.
Julie became ill during a holiday to Thailand with her husband of 27 years, Patrick Erridge, in January 2020 and after a ‘shocking’ cancer diagnosis, she passed away just seven weeks later aged 47.
The memorial comes after only very close family members were able to attend her funeral, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Julie’s best friend, Jane Warren, organised the event which saw 170 guests honour her memory.
She said: ‘It would have been her 50th birthday on Friday so I thought it was a really fitting tribute to do a celebration of life for her, to give her that send off and raise some money for the Rowans where she died.’
Julie herself had picked out the location for her 50th, which provided nibbles and the room free-of-charge, before she died.
‘The whole room was just filled positivity. Everyone came with a real energy, it was a real relief after three months of organising,’ added Jane.
Also at the memorial was Julie’s husband Patrick and their two children, Yasmin, 26, and Phoebe, 20, with their third, 21-year-old Naish, unable to attend as a member of the Fleet Air Arm – what his mum ‘would’ve wanted.’
Patrick thanked Jane for organising the celebration and the those who helped them reach their total for the ‘amazing’ Rowans, including the the Queens Hotel and tribute band, With The Beatles, who donated part of their fee.
He added: ‘It was an excellent turnout, she’s greatly missed. The kids and I never had the opportunity to celebrate her life, it was a bit of closure.’
Julie ran the Southsea salon Juliee’s – formerly Hair Furlong until it was renamed in her honour – with her younger brother Eden Furlong and was well-loved within the community.
Jane said: ‘She was quite unique, she was larger than life and so glamorous, just such an attractive lady.’
‘I’m sure she was looking down and having a glass of red wine.’