St Albans journalist Deborah Williams died suddenly on 18 July after collapsing at her home.
Deborah, aged 50, was employed part-time in the press office at St Albans District Council at the time of her death. She was also working towards a degree in art at Amersham College.
She began her journalistic career in 1978 when she joined the Hemel Hempstead Gazette as a junior reporter. After a period spent travelling she joined the St Albans Observer as a reporter in 1985 before moving to Australia for several years, where she worked on the Manly Daily.
Deborah returned to the UK in 1993 and worked as deputy news editor on the Herts Advertiser and in the press office of St Albans Council, before becoming news editor of the St Albans Observer in 1998.
She went on to become editor of the Observer and its sister paper, the St Albans Review from 2001 until 2004.
Peter Wilson-Leary, the group editor of Newsquest Hertfordshire and Middlesex, which includes the St Albans Review, worked closely with Deborah during her editorship and said he was struck by her passion and professionalism.
He said: ‘Although Deborah was a news editor at heart and just loved it when a top story came the newspaper’s way, she went on to master the many other aspects of the editor’s role.
‘Everything Deborah did she did to a high standard, setting a tremendous example for all who worked with her.”
Deborah, who lived in Hemel Hempstead, leaves her mother and father Edna and Ken Williams, sister and brother-in-law Brenda and Peter Kerr, niece Brooke and nephew Todd.