"SHE was a hardworking and dedicated mother."

The family of a Winchester woman who was killed in an alleged hit and run last month have paid tribute to her.

Gwen Valentine, a 62-year-old mother of three, was struck whilst walking on the isolated Tholt-y-Will road on the Isle of Man, and died at the scene.

She was on holiday with her fiance visiting family, and was due to marry in June.

Ms Valentine, of Wavell Way, Stanmore, had recently retired from IBM at Hursley.

Her cousin, Tricia Hobbs, of Headbourne Worthy, said she was a dedicated family woman, who spent her life supporting her family.

She said: “She was a big part of our family. She was born in South Africa and came to the country without many family and we were definitely the closest she had.

“She had only just retired. The wedding invitation is still on my table, it’s awful and tragic. She was really excited about her wedding and she had just invited me to her hen party in early June.

“Gwen was a family orientated woman really and they meant so much to her. They all did really well, they have all done really well. The children are gifted which is lovely. She spent her life supporting them.

“She was a single mum working, and her life was just coming together, so it was really shocking and sad.”

Mrs Hobbs also said that the church played a big role in Ms Valentine’s life, and she was well supported by her church community.

It is thought her wedding was due to be held at Winchester Baptist Church on Swan Lane, but they were unavailable for comment.

Ms Valentine’s family released a statement through the police last Thursday (May 1): “She was taken in the prime of her life, and all who knew her loved her for her zest for life, humour, fearlessness and compassion. She will be sorely missed.”

The Chronicle approached IBM, but they failed to respond.