Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on May 2nd 2021, we have remembered 61 women, the last being trans woman and human rights lawyer Sonia Burgess.
Today we remember two women killed at the Manchester Arena Bombing Lisa Lees and her friend Alison Howe who were killed as they waited for their daughters in the Manchester Arena foyer.
Lisa Lees, 43, "had a passion to succeed" and still had "much more to give", her husband has told the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena attacks. The "pen portrait" read by the family's lawyer revealed how the mother-of-two died six months before the birth of her second grandchild. A series of hearings are taking place at which relatives of the 22 people killed in the 2017 bombing will provide a personal insight into the lives of their loved ones. and how their lives were changed forever. Lisa was a beauty tutor who had recently received a degree and also set up an organisation giving aromatherapy and massage treatment to ease the pain of dying youngsters.
"She was a true angel, caring and beautiful, both inside and out," said her husband Anthony, whom she married in 1999. She was "the heart and soul of our family" and the "first one to get the party moving" who "had so much more to give in life", he said.
Oldham-born Lisa got "fantastic feedback" from the families of the children she used to massage with oil, her husband continued. She put 110% into teaching and was always ready to help her students when they phoned her. "That was just the fantastic caring nature of Lisa," her husband said.
In this horrific terrorist incident that killed 22 people in May 2017 standing next to Lisa was her friend Alison Howe. Alision's mum said:
"We would have “mum and daughter time” on Fridays when they would put the world to rights. “She was a very talented musician, loving and kind and someone people wanted to be around. You could never feel sad or depressed when Alison was with you because she would always know the right things to say and do to snap you out of it.
We went on spa trips together, shopping trips and out for dinner – we were the best of friends. She adored her family – Steven and the children were her everything. The gaping hole that is left is unbelievable – we don’t live anymore, we just exist. Nothing will take away the pain and loss – when someone shouts ‘Mum’, I still turn round. It’s like being stabbed in the heart.”
Lisa Lees and Alison Howe.