Friends shocked by Rhona’s death

Rhona Penn died just aged 30.
Rhona Penn died just aged 30.

Tributes have flooded in for a “larger than life” barmaid who died following a massive asthma attack.

Rhona Penn passed away after suffering a heart attack brought on by the asthma attack outside her home in David’s Loan, Langlees, last Tuesday.

Distraught parents William and Moira tried to resuscitate her but she tragically died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. She had lived with asthma since she was two.

Her family, friends and colleagues have been devastated by her passing and say she has left a massive hole in their lives.

The 30-year-old was a well known and much-loved character with regulars around Falkirk’s pubs and clubs and had worked for the past three-and-a-half years in Coyote’s Bar and the nightclub Storm before that.

More than 500 messages of condolence have been left on her Facebook page. DJ Liam McEwan, who worked alongside her at Coyote’s, posted: “The town is nowhere near the same without you.

“You are and always will be one missed, very loved popular lassie! We all miss you so bloody much. Take care buddy, love you, and I’ll fly with you again one day.”

Staff at Coyote’s and Storm are to dedicate a charity night every December to her memory. She even has a Coyote’s cocktail, Rhona’s Rush, named after her.

Bar manager Kevin Rutherford said: “Rhona was an amazing character. It’s not just our pub that will miss her, the whole town genuinely will. She will never be forgotten.”

Rhona attended Langlees Primary then Falkirk High School and studied physical education at Forth Valley College, hoping to become a PE teacher or trainer.

Dad William said: “Rhona was full of life, she was a character who touched everybody’s heart. We are a close family and we are all devastated.

“We are all proud of her. She has left a big hole in our lives and was always the life and soul of any party.

“Her dog Sapphire, who she loved very much, went into her room the other night but came straight back out. I think she’s wondering where Rhona is, or maybe she knows she’s gone.

“I think everyone in Falkirk knew her and we are expecting a massive turnout at her funeral. She may be gone but she will definitely never be forgotten. She shone like a diamond. She really was one in a million.”

Rhona was an only child, but her aunt, Tricia Penn, said cousins, aunts and uncles were like her brothers and sisters.

She added: “If you needed her she would be there for you and always had a cuddle and a kiss for you. I am proud to call her my niece.

“She was very protective of her family and friends and didn’t suffer fools gladly, but she had a big heart and loved to help people and always put others first. She’d give you anything and asked for nothing in return.”

Rhona’s funeral takes place today (Thursday) at 10.30 a.m. at Camelon Crematorium.