TRIBUTES have been paid to a Gazette newspaper vendor who has died suddenly.
Stella McKenna, who sold papers from a stand outside the Grand Theatre in the town centre, has been described as “always smiling.”
She died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital last Sunday following a short illness, aged 75.
Mrs McKenna, of Reads Avenue, leaves a brother and a sister, two children and five grandchildren.
Her son Peter said: “Mum really enjoyed selling The Gazette.
“She loved meeting people and even when she was poorly, she was thinking about how it would affect her job.”
Mrs McKenna was born in Blackburn but moved to Blackpool around 44 years ago.
She worked for the civil service at Norcross and Warbreck, and had also operated holiday flats on Reads Avenue.
Staff at the Grand Theatre remember her as being dedicated to her job.
Andrew Howard, marketing manager at the theatre, said: “She was an ambassador for Blackpool because of the amount of people who passed her stand who she would talk to.
“Meanwhile there were locals who would walk from the other side of town to buy their newspaper from her, and you would see her chatting to them.
“She always had time for everybody and she was always smiling whatever the weather.
“We had known her for years and sometimes we would treat her to shows.
“She will be really missed, not just by us but by a lot of people.”
Mrs McKenna was also well known to resort councillors.
Coun Henry Mitchell said: “Stella was one of the characters of Blackpool town centre.
“It is very sad to hear she has passed away and I am sure a lot of people will miss her.”
Gazette Editor Jon Rhodes said: “Blackpool is famed for its characters and Stella was certainly one of those.
“She was dedicated to her job and was a real ambassador for the town, its people and The Gazette over many years.
“Our thoughts go out to Stella’s family.”
Mrs McKenna’s funeral service will be held at Sacred Heart Church on Talbot Road on Thursday July 26 at noon.
It will be followed by a service at Poulton Crematorium, and a wake at The Raikes Hall pub in Blackpool.