Crowds of people gathered on Warner Street for a funeral procession to Accrington Crematorium in memory of “angel” businesswoman Beverley Wilkin.
Beverley, 72, ran The Glory Hole on Warner Street in Accrington for over 35 years and helped thousands of people free of charge through aromatherapy and her skills as a Reiki master - a Japanese technique for stress reduction and healing. She died on May 18.
Her husband of 37 years Norman said around 100 well wishers gathered to pay their respects at the funeral.
He said: “It was a really good turnout. It takes your breath away sometimes. It was a lovely thing and the vicar did a good job. The sun was shining and it was really nice.
“She helped more people than anybody I’ve ever known.
“She has done counselling over the years, crystal healing and was a Reiki master, but people came in with problems and nothing was too much trouble for her. She never charged for her time.
“She really tried to get Accrington on the map. She was a very warm and caring lady. She helped numerous people at Maundy Grange who came through the door.
"She would spend an hour or two with them and never turn them away. She was really devoted to helping people.”
The great-grandmother fell ill on May 5 and slipped into a coma. She was taken to hospital but passed away nearly two weeks later.
Her death also came just weeks after the sudden passing away of fellow Warner Street trader Evonne Harwood.
Norman, 70, said: “The last thing she did was go to Evonne’s funeral. The next day she felt unwell and lost consciousness.
"She was in a coma in hospital since then and never regained consciousness.
"Nobody had a bad word for her. We’ve received some absolutely unbelievable messages.
"The phone has been going non-stop from people as far away as Canada saying what an angel she was.”
Beverley’s husband said she went ‘downhill’ after the incident at the Accrington Tesco store.
The incident happened on October 7 last year when police said the former hairdresser was grabbed in a headlock before the offender demanded her bag and money.
Norman said she was ‘really outgoing’ before the attack, which came just months after she was given the all-clear from bowel cancer.
Norman said: “The guy was pretending to be unconscious on the floor and then grabbed her. From that day she went downhill.
“She was really outgoing and after this attack she became very nervous. She would see a group of lads walk down the street and cross over.
“She couldn’t trust anybody. She always kept the shop going but any free moment she would go to bed.
“It was getting more and more like that. There wasn’t much conversation between us. We hadn’t fallen out, she had just gone into her shell. All the problems started from the attack.”
Businesswoman Tracy Simmonds said she will be ‘greatly missed’.
She said: “She has known me since I was born. She was a real character. It’s really, really sad. I know people went to her shop from far and wide.
"She didn’t want to retire and she lived there and love doing what she was doing.”