Advertiser reporter Michele Vincent “loved all beings”

FORMER Advertiser reporter Michele Vincent, who has died aged 69, has been described as a lover of life and all living creatures.
HAPPY FAMILY: Michele, Geoff and son RichardHAPPY FAMILY: Michele, Geoff and son Richard
HAPPY FAMILY: Michele, Geoff and son Richard

Hundreds gathered at Grenoside Crematorium for a celebration of her life, with many paying tribute at the service and afterwards at Crookes Social Club.

Michele, who died on February 29 after a short illness, worked at the Advertiser as a reporter and district news co-ordinator between 2000 and 2014 – returning afterwards on a regular basis – and made many friends across the community and at schools she visited.

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Born in Weymouth, Dorset, Michele attended 12 schools before studying for a politics degree at Durham University. She met her life partner Geoff in London in 1976 and moved to Sheffield 12 years later, working at the students union before retraining as a journalist

PRESS GANG: Michele talked to schools about the AdvertiserPRESS GANG: Michele talked to schools about the Advertiser
PRESS GANG: Michele talked to schools about the Advertiser

Geoff said: “Above all Michele was a people person, .be it with family, friends or colleagues. And strangers, who didn’t feel strangers for long.

"She might have entered the Guinness Book of Records for the number of birthday cards she sent. Somehow she always found out someone’s birthday, and often their children’s birthdays, and an appropriate card was posted in good time.

“In the many cards that came to her when she was ill and after her death certain words and phrases were repeated - special, kind, fun, quirky, lovely, funny, loyal, welcoming, generous, a treasure, important to me, leaves fond memories, leaves a huge gap in our lives, lucky to have known her, and so on.

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"One of her colleagues on the Rotherham Advertiser once said of her, "Every office should have a Michele" and that would have resonated in all the offices she worked.”

MOVED NORTH: Michele graduates from Durham UniversityMOVED NORTH: Michele graduates from Durham University
MOVED NORTH: Michele graduates from Durham University

Michele and Geoff’s son Richard said: “There was a wide range of animals she loved – cats her favourite, those that she owned or any that she met whilst out and about.

"She loved much smaller and less glamorous beings too though. Walks with Michele would often take a lot longer than predicted as we would have to stop all the time so that she could rescue various things that were in harm’s way, such as slugs, snails, bees, or most often, worms.

“Another of my mum’s passions that I admired was how committed she was to making connections with people. Every time we left the house we would bump into someone she knew.

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“I think Michele was also the politest person I’ve ever known. She would always have to make sure she’d said thank you or sorry to everyone we met in every scenario.

RACE FOR LIFE: Rescuing worms slowed Michele downRACE FOR LIFE: Rescuing worms slowed Michele down
RACE FOR LIFE: Rescuing worms slowed Michele down

“She would then get in a great panic if she ever thought she’d forgotten to do this. When I was little, we’d often have to turn the car around to go back to places just for her to double check this had been done.

“One of mine and my mum’s favourite memories that we’d laugh about, comes from a holiday in Portugal back when I was 11 and it combines her love of animals, her passion for talking to strangers and her politeness.

“We were by the pool at the hotel, and Michele had noticed a flying ant type insect was drowning. She then spent the next 20 minutes or so trying desperately to get it out of the pool with her hands. She eventually did get it out and put it on the side in the sun, and we waited to see if it would be able to fly off again.

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"As we were watching, a Portuguese cleaner who didn’t speak English, came past. Michele thought she needed to explain herself so started trying to mime what she had been doing with the ant. The cleaner got the wrong end of the stick and thought Michele was complaining about the ants, and so she came over with a smile, stamped on it, and swept it up into a bin for us. Michele, not wanting to seem rude, thanked her for her help afterwards anyway.”

ANIMAL LOVER: Michele as a youngsterANIMAL LOVER: Michele as a youngster
ANIMAL LOVER: Michele as a youngster

Michele once took over an hour completing a 5km Race For Life due to regularly stopping to move worms off the course.

Richard added: "Michele will leave behind a legacy through the way that she lived and approached life. She leaves behind many friends and family who admired her and have great memories of her and for that I’m very proud."

Friends Helen Thompson and Kate Cowell pointed out that anyone not spelling her name with one ‘L’ was in "deep trouble", and added: “As one of our friends commented, ‘when I see Michele in my mind’s eye it’s hard to picture her rushing. Michele had a way of interacting with the world that allowed her to really be in the moment. What a gift. She always had time for a chat, for a coffee, for stroking cats, for accosting priests she met in the Co op” - yes really!”

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Describing her as a “greatest conversationalist”, they said Michele was a “shining star of the local community”, being a founder member of Crookes Forum, a co-organiser of the Crookes Street Market, editor of the Crookes Courier and playing a major role in a local history event, the Bustle Walk

She was also a school governor, secretary of the South Yorkshire Branch of the National Union of Journalists, volunteer with Crookes Litter Pickers, member of a book club, a Tai Chi group and the Nether Edge Voices choir.

  • Donations can be made to “The Archer Project” and sent to Jason Heath, John Heath & Sons, 4-16 Earsham Street, Sheffield, S4 7LS or made online at
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