Tragic fundraiser was 'inspiring'

TRIBUTES were paid last night to an “inspiring” Suffolk fundraiser as a police investigation into her death continues.

TRIBUTES were paid last night to an “inspiring” Suffolk fundraiser as a police investigation into her death continues.

Rosemary Schlee, 80, who was made an MBE for services to Oxfam nine years ago, was found dead on Thursday afternoon at an address in Melton, near Woodbridge. The cause of her death is not yet known.

A 52-year-old Woodbridge man has been questioned on suspicion of aiding or abetting a suicide, and will answer police bail tomorrow .

Friends of Mrs Schlee paid tribute to her over the weekend, speaking of her spirit and commitment to helping others.

Ed Stanford, chairman of the River Deben Association set up in the1980s to protect the waterway, said she had been involved almost from the beginning.

He said: “Her death is a real loss to the community. She was a lady with a very strong social spirit. She was our publicity officer and came to our meetings and was dedicated, an enthusiastic person who would get stuck into things. She was fairly forthright in what she would say and would not mince her words.”

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Anne Moore, who met the fundraiser through their shared passion for sailing, said: “I knew her in the very early 1980s at Waldringfield Sailing Club, she made me very welcome there.

“She was very good at tapping into people's talents and abilities. She would spot what someone could contribute. She was a very good organiser and would have a go at anything.

“She was a very rare person, unique amongst those who I have known in my own lifetime and would inspire you and was very humble, genuinely so, not in any affected way.”

Mrs Schlee was well known locally for beginning an innovative bed and breakfast charity project in 1984, which saw a third of the takings from her business at Deben Lodge, in Melton Road, Melton, going to Oxfam.

She went on to persuade many other people across Suffolk to become hosts to raise money in the same way.

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