Tributes have been paid to a Rugby woman who was “years ahead of her time and whose achievements were in the face of much adversity and opposition”.
Kamalaben Patel, known universally as ‘Kim’, the proprietor of Abbey Street News on the corner of Abbey Street and Murray Road for 32 years, died peacefully at the Hospital of St Cross on Saturday October 22 at the age of 67.
Kim was born in Gujarat in India, the second child of nine, to a sugarcane farmer and his wife.
Her childhood was not easy, having been brought up by a childless uncle and aunt.
In the years that followed she had a traditional arranged marriage to her husband Jayantilal and came to England in January 1967 where she immediately settled in Rugby.
She gave birth to her only child, Sam, later that year.
Life changed for Kim and her family in June 1968, when Jayantilal was diagnosed with acute schizophrenia and she had to be the sole breadwinner.
Kim became her own boss in 1984 when she took over the Abbey Street shop, which she will pass for a final time on Saturday at 9.30am before the hearse proceeds to Rainsbrook Crematorium for her funeral at 9.50am.