Travel agent Maureen Hill, for decades the legendary agent columnist for Travel Weekly, has died aged 74.
Hill was working at the Sturminster branch of Spear Travels when she was taken ill earlier this week and taken by ambulance to hospital where she sadly died.
Peter Cookson, Spear Travels managing director, said travel was Hill’s life and she had just logged a big booking 20 minutes before she fell ill.
“We knew she had not been well and tried to pressure her to take it easy, but travel was her life. If you think what she lived through for 50 years, these times will not come again.
“They broke the mould when they made Maureen. She’ll be hugely missed. It was a massive shock. It’s the first time anything like this has happened to us in 25 years with the company.”
Hill started working for Spear Travels as senior travel consultant after it bought Dorset-based Vale Travel in 2015.
She became synonymous with the travel agency sector writing her regular Travel Weekly column when working for Gillingham-based Travel Angels.
Hill had a dedicated following as she recounted the trials and tribulations of being a front-of-house high street agent dealing with the demands of clients and suppliers.
A post on the Spear Travel’s Sturminster Facebook page said: “It is with deepest regret that our beautiful friend and colleague Maureen Hill (Mitzi) passed away peacefully last night.
“She will be greatly missed in the travel industry and local community. Our deepest condolences go out to her family, who she loved and devoted her life to xxxx.”
Former Travel Weekly managing director Trevor Harding said: “Maureen was an amazing ambassador for the travel industry.
“She was loved by her travel agency audience for being one of them and understanding their everyday problems. She had that human touch and will be sadly missed.”
Hill was a doting grandmother who was married to Brian, her husband who she met when she was at school.