With her infectious smile, Cherith Wilson brought happiness wherever she went, never letting her battle with illness dampen her upbeat spirit.

Paying tribute to her late sister, who she described as being “just so special”, Roberta Wilson said: “She was just happy all the time, she was always smiling and laughing. You never really got her on a bad day. Regardless of what was going on with her health wise, she was always trying to hide it.”

“If you asked her how she was, she would say, ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ She wouldn’t really dwell on it, she didn’t want people feeling sorry for her,” she added.

At the age of 32, Cherith passed away peacefully on January 27, 2020 in Altnagelvin Hospital.

Sharing a recent conversation she’d had with Cherith whilst she was in the South West Acute Hospital before she was eventually moved to Altnagelvin Hospital, Roberta said: “We were just talking about things and she said, ‘I just want to be normal.’ That’s all she wanted. She didn’t want to talk about her illnesses, she just wanted to keep them to herself and she was going to deal with them herself.”

“During her illness over the years she was sustained by her strong Christian faith,” added Cherith’s father Robert Wilson.

Commenting that Cherith was an “unbelievable” sister, Sharon Hunter, her eldest sister, shared: “No matter what we were doing as a family she was always there with us. We all called her ‘Squirt’, you know affectionately from when she was a child. She has always been Squirt.”

Cherith loved the cinema and was a massive Disney fan. “It was her big passion. Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Her favourite thing ever to do was go to the Disney store and just aimlessly wander around,” said Richard Wilson, Cherith’s brother.

Adding that Cherith always enjoyed socialising with her friends, Roberta commented that she would have drove the “length and breadth of the country” to meet up with them.

“She loved eating out and going for meals and wee coffee catch ups. I suppose because she spent so much time in hospital over the years, when she was fit and well she wasn’t one for lying around and moping about the house.

“If she was able to be out and about, she wanted to be out and about,” Robert explained.

Noting that Cherith had a very generous nature, particularly at Christmas and with Birthdays, Roberta said: “Especially when the children came along, she just had them ruined.

“For example, she was in hospital before Christmas and she got out the week of Christmas and she was panicking that she had nothing for the children and we were like, ‘don’t be worrying’ but she gave them all money for Christmas, on Boxing Day because that’s when we all met as a family.”

Roberta commented that as a sister, Cherith would have done anything for her.

“When she was fit to do it she wanted to babysit, she would’ve been making buns, arts and crafts, anything with them.

“We would have seen her in pain but when her nieces and nephews were about she still was trying her utmost, down on the floor playing with them when she could.”

Not only did Cherith have a great way with her nieces and nephews, she had a fantastic rapport with children in general, which was evident during her time working at Holy Trinity Primary School’s after school club.

“She was there for 12 years, she started off as an assistant and then she worked her way up to leader. She was leader right up until her death.

“She had been due to step down to assistant in January to relieve some of the pressure from her.

“I know she had close relationships with the girls in Holy Trinity, a lot of her strong friendships were from there,” said Cherith’s mother Hazel Wilson.

“She adored being with the children and I think that came through at the funeral, so many parents came from Holy Trinity to the wake and to the funeral.

“They were saying to us, ‘Cherith looked after our children at the after school club, they just adored it’.

“They were just so heartbroken,” Roberta added.

Beloved daughter of Robert and Hazel Wilson and dearly loved sister of Sharon Hunter, Roberta Wilson and Richard Wilson, Cherith is lovingly remembered by her family and all the family circle.

Hazel concluded: “Anybody that was talking to me over the wake or the funeral and just in general, they just always said that Cherith’s smile was infectious.”