A latte lover who lost her battle with cancer was laid to rest – in a COSTA COFFEE-inspired coffin.
Karen Lloyd, 51, was known for her love of shopping and coffee and was a big fan of the nationwide high street chain.
So when the mother-of-two recently passed away it was decided she would be given a fitting send off.
Her family commissioned a coffin in Costa’s trademark burgundy colour with the brand’s livery plastered down the side along with the words: ‘one shot, extra hot skinny latte’.
The coffin was carried into the church to the sound of ‘More than a Woman’ and, following the service, carried out to ‘Viva Las Vegas’.
Lynzi Barrett, a close friend of Karen, said: “She wanted a coffin with a difference and Alan, her husband, wondered what could be done regarding Costa.
“I telephoned Mark Hillier of Hillier Funeral Service and within an hour he called me back to say we could have it. It brought a smile to our faces at a time of sorrow.
“Both the funeral and wake were based around her love of Costa Coffee, shopping and sleeping.
“We had pictures of her everywhere as she lit up every room she entered.
“She was the most positive, kind person I have ever met, who loved her boys and most definitely made an impact on everyone she ever met.”
Karen, who worked for a blind and shutters company before her illness, had her funeral at Christ Church in Old Town, Swindon, Wilts., last week.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer last June following a mammogram. She didn’t have a lump, instead she had an enlarged breast.
Despite her illness, she dedicated time to charity work, raising more than £2,000 for the Breast Cancer Unit at the Great Western Hospital.
Through the months of chemotherapy and invasive treatment, Karen kept a brave face and rarely allowed herself to shed any tears.
But tragically, the cancer spread to her spinal fluid and brain and, in December, she was given the devastating news the condition was terminal.
Karen passed away at Prospect Hospice on February 4, leaving behind her two sons Harry, 19, and Eddie, 15, and husband Alan.
Alan said her friends nicknamed her ‘Costa Karen’ – but he called her ‘Costa Lot’.
Alan, who works on offshore wind farms, was 80 miles off the coast of Germany when found out that his wife of 20 years was seriously ill.
He said: “She was first class, so friendly and happy, I couldn’t have asked for a better wife.
“She was nicknamed Costa Karen, although I called her Costa Lot! It’s a very sad loss, we were married for 20 years. I am going to miss her like anything.
“The funeral was a celebration of her life and it is good to do it on a humourous side.
“When we asked the funeral directors for a Costa Coffee-themed coffin, they said ‘you what? We’ve never done one of those before’. But they managed to do one for us.
“We went to Las Vegas for her 50th birthday and on one of the days we hired cars and went to the Grand Canyon.
“She said it was one of the best days of her life and we said we would go back again one day. That’s why she went out to Viva Las Vegas.”
Karen didn’t have a specific Costa Coffee that she would visit, instead always making effort to find the nearest shop when she was out.
Friend Lynzi Barrett said: “She would spend two hours getting ready for a half hour coffee. It was as much about the sociable side as the coffee, she would never go alone.
“If Karen had a break for lunch, or a gap during work, she would try and meet someone for a drink.
“Sometimes I would ask if she would like to go for a glass of wine and she would joke that Costas don’t sell wine.
“If she could do it she would do it every day and she would always try and have at least two coffees in a sitting.”
Reverend Captain Clive Deverell paid tribute to the fun-loving mum during Friday’s service.
He said: “She loved being with her friends and families and she had great friends.
“She was a loving mum to her two sons Harry and Eddie. And of course there was Costa, shopping, Costa, shopping and I forgot to say, Costa and shopping.
“She really liked getting herself ready and was always immaculate. If they were going to go on holiday and wanted to arrive on time, Alan’s trick was to set all the clocks in the house one hour early.
“Her humour and her fortitude were impressive. She is making the baristas in heaven’s lives rather difficult with her one-shot extra hot skinny lattes.”
More than 450 people went to her funeral, with 300 attending the wake.
Lynzi added: “It looked more like a wedding than a wake, she would have loved it.”
*To donate money to the Prospect Hospice go to http://www.prospect-hospice.