SHE was a force of nature and leaves a huge hole in our lives.

Those are the words her husband has used to describe much-loved mum Alison Thomas who has passed away aged 48 following an 18-month cancer battle.

Alison, née Bainbridge, mother of nine-year-old Sophia and stepmum to Millie, aged 18, cut the ribbon to open a new cancer centre in Southampton earlier this year.

She was a well-known and much-loved face around the city, having worked for the Daily Echo for nearly a quarter of a century.

Husband Rob continued: “We talked about a bucket list, but she didn’t have one. She said that she’d lived a great life, had wonderful experiences, travelled, had amazing friends and a family she adored and who adored her.

Daily Echo:

“The last 18 months have been brutal, yet she faced it head on with strength, determination, positivity, charm and style, which was how Ali dealt with everything.”

Ali was born and brought up in Southampton, making dozens of lifelong friends along the way. She attended Tanners Brook and Regents Park Schools. Her idyllic childhood selling homemade drinks to passers-by led to a phenomenal career in sales.

One of the Echo’s most popular employees who won a host of awards, Ali had publishing running through her veins. She followed her mother and grandmother into full time work with Southern Newspapers at the age of 19 in a junior sales role. She worked her way up, enjoying several advertising management roles before moving to the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times in 2016.

Ali employed Rob in 2003, they became a couple in 2006, were engaged at Lake Como in 2008 and married at Lainston House in 2009. They enjoyed many family holidays in Ibiza and Ali loved to potter, shop and meet friends for coffee and cake.

Daily Echo:

She also leaves father Norman, brother Rob, sister in law Katie and niece and nephews Harry, Poppy and Eddie. Her mother Yvonne passed away last year.

Ali’s family have paid tribute to brilliant staff in oncology in Southampton and at Mountbatten Hampshire hospice.

  • A service to celebrate her life will take place on Tuesday October 12 at East Chapel, Southampton Crematorium, at 1pm.