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Cancer claims life of former assistant editor Lynda

Tributes have been paid to former Western Daily Press assistant editor Lynda Cleasby, who has died of cancer.

The experienced journalist, who had recently celebrated her 50th birthday, had fought a brave battle after being diagnosed with cancer in 2003.

She underwent major surgery and rigorous chemotherapy put her in remission and allowed her to return to work last summer, but later secondary cancer was detected, along with associated blood clotting, and doctors declared her condition inoperable.

Lynda, (left), began an 18-year journalism career at The Northern Echo, joining editorial from newspaper sales.

From there she moved to the Express and Star in Wolverhampton, before joining the Western Daily Press as a features sub-editor in 1989.

Later, as women’s editor, she became known for writing sharp, witty articles with attitude but most of all, for her vibrant and imaginative page designs.

She was appointed assistant editor (features) in 2002, becoming the first female assistant editor in the paper’s history.

She left the paper two years ago to pursue a career in PR.

WDP editor Terry Manners, who had worked closely with Lynda said: “Lynda was larger-than-life and had a hearty laugh that used to rock the newsroom.

“She was very talented and hugely creative with layout. She could write really well crafted big profile interviews with well-known personalities and we all valued her.

“She was overjoyed when she had been given the all-clear and we went out to lunch to celebrate, but just a couple of months later it had come back.

“She was always coming in to see us and we will all miss her.”

Her funeral will be held at the Baptist Church on Hythe Road in Ashford in Kent on Thursday, March 17 at 2.15pm.