Portsmouth-bred Amanda Jenkins, 38, lost both her mum and dad in early January.
Her father, 70-year-old Trevor Jenkins, passed away on January 9 after a car collided with him as he was walking on Goldsmith Avenue in Southsea.
His wife of 52 years, Paula, who was suffering from terminal lung cancer, passed away only a few hours later - after the shock of the awful news caused her breathing to worsen.
She had been expected to have a few more months to live, but Amanda said that she believes ‘the shock expedited things’ for her poorly mum, who died in the early hours of January 10.
Although she is still reeling from her tragic losses, Amanda, an executive assistant, is remembering her ‘very inspirational’ dad and ‘devoted’ mum.
Born on March 4, 1951, Trevor started his career as a carpenter and opened his own carpentry firm before going on to become a building site manager.
He was semi-retired when he passed away.
Amanda said: ‘He was an avid walker, and anyone who walks on the seafront will know him.
‘He was very active and walked about 22,000 steps a day. He went swimming twice a week, he went to Zumba. He used to belong to the Priory Bowls Club in Milton.’
Trevor, a ‘very good’ chess player, was also an amateur photographer who often contributed images of Portsmouth to The News.
Amanda remembers that there was also music playing at home, as her dad was an avid collector of Buddy Holly books and LPs.
He also loved Spitfires and other war birds, and the family would often go to the local air shows.
‘He had lots of friends, lots of acquaintances - lots of people in Portsmouth would know of Trevor,’ Amanda said. ‘He knew all the staff in Tesco in Goldsmith Avenue.’
Trevor ‘adored’ all his pets, and especially loved his favourite dog Molly, a West Highland White Terrier.
Amanda added: ‘His work ethic was outstanding, to put me through private school and put us through the holidays and lifestyle he thought we deserved.
‘He travelled the world because he was in the Merchant Navy.
‘He was the most wonderful father, he took me everywhere, he bought me anything.
‘He was the life and soul of the party, he was very mischievous, always laughing and joking.’
Trevor and Paula, also aged 70, married on June 6, 1970.
Paula, who was born on July 3, 1951, loved to sew and worked as a seamstress before she had Amanda - the couple’s only child.
She even had her own seamstress company, and would make handmade teddy bears for customers.
Amanda said: ‘More than anything, she was a devoted wife, housewife and mother.
‘I feel like I won the lottery with my parents - she was by my side all the time.’
‘At Mayville High School - if ever they were looking for parent volunteers, she would volunteer as she wanted to spend time with me.’
When Amanda was older, her mum worked for Portsmouth City Council for many years in school transport and ‘loved the children in her care’.
Amanda described her mum as: ‘A constant, consistent part of my life - best friend, confidante.
‘Her priority was always her family, looking after me, my dad, and the household.’
The couple lived in Portsmouth their whole lives apart from a few years spent in New Zealand, and were living in Milton at the time of their deaths.
Amanda said: ‘They were everything to each other. I think my mum was everything my dad wasn’t - she was patient.
‘They were just meant to be - they finished each other’s sentences, they drove each other crazy, but they loved each other. To the last day, he seemed besotted with her.’
Although she had resided in London for some years, Amanda decided to move back to Portsmouth in June 2021 to become a carer for her mum after they received the cancer diagnosis.
‘She’d been poorly for a long time - she’d had her leg amputated in 2020 due to a blood clot and she didn’t really recuperate from that,’ Amanda said.
‘When we found out it was terminal lung cancer, my dad was beside himself - it was the woman he loved. I got rid of my flat and moved to Portsmouth.’
Trevor and Amanda rallied around Paula as she grew more unwell - but then the family faced the terrible and unexpected shock of Trevor’s passing.
He died of his injuries at 3.21pm on January 9 after being taken to hospital following the road traffic accident.
Amanda said: ‘One day my dad is here and the next day he’s taken from me, way too soon - I thought he was going to be with me forever.
‘When I went home and broke the news to my mum, it exacerbated her breathing. Nothing was calming her down.
‘We called 111 who sent some paramedics, who were absolutely outstanding.’
While the paramedics spent several hours with Paula, one later said to Amanda: ‘I think she’s going to pass away tonight’.
Amanda said: ‘It’s like she wanted to be with him. She passed away exactly as she wanted to, with me, at home, at 4.05am on January 10.
‘For them to go within 12 hours of each other - I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that.’
In remembrance of her ‘wonderful’ parents, Amanda is planning to host a ‘celebration of life’ at the Jolly Sailor in Southsea, between 4pm and 7pm on Friday, January 21.
Friends and family of the couple are invited to attend this ‘casual affair’.
Amanda said: ‘Every time there was a celebration, a christening, a birthday, it always seemed to be at the Jolly Sailor.
‘I’m so proud of both of my parents - there’s so many things to show people.
‘There’s going to be a memorial table for each of them, a memorial book for people to write in, all their favourite songs playing, and a video reel.’
Despite her grief, Amanda says that she feels grateful to have been able to spend so much time with her parents before their passings.
Amanda said: ‘This last six months, it feels like it’s been a wonderful time to spend quality time with my dad. I’ve done everything with him, his swimming, his walking - it’s been a blessing to spend this time with him.
‘Also my mum - it was her dream to live with me again. We’ve seen every single Jason Statham film, and at Christmas we made the house look like a real Christmas grotto - it’s been a really special six months.
‘I feel so privileged that life has afforded me to spend this time with my mum and dad.’