TRIBUTES have been made to a well-known Bridlington woman who died at the age of 45.
Shuna Berrigan was well known locally in her role as a physical therapist and osteopath.
When she was younger, Shuna spent time travelling and working as a nanny – including caring for the children of comedian Ruby Wax.
She died in Scarborough Hospital on February 27. A funeral service was held on Monday.
Her death has devastated friends and family, and left her partner Linda ‘heartbroken’, but she has also left many happy memories.
Shuna’s friend Wendy Spalding said: “Shuna was unique. A real character and everyone knew and loved her.
“She was spiritual and inspirational, and most of all she made you laugh.
“She loved and rescued a lot of animals as well as fixing a lot of people’s backs.
“A wonderful person with a wonderful outlook on life.
“She loved the children she nannied for, like they were her own.
“She had a special way with kids, animals and people. She will be remembered with love and a big smile.
“She always had a story to tell and her life was a real adventure.”
Shuna’s father Tony Berrigan said: “We would all like to thank the hundreds who sent tributes.
“Mrs Fenn came up from London, and Ruby also sent a wonderful tribute.”
Born at the Avenue Hospital, Shuna was a pupil at St Mary’s Convent and then Bridlington Girl’s High School.
Together with her brother Justin, she developed a passion for fishing and was a great animal lover, collecting stray cats and even adopting a one-legged seagull named ‘Benjiman’, who lived in the back garden of the family’s Cardigan Road house.
After GCEs she decided that she wanted to travel: an advert in the Lady magazine led to an agency for ‘nannies’, which in turn led to Shuna securing a job for the family that owned the prestigious fashion label Fenn, Wright and Mason.
There was plenty of glamour as well as work, and she twice crossed the Atlantic on Concorde with the family.
Her next job also had its share of glamour, caring for Ruby Wax’s children in London’s Notting Hill.
Following her years spent as a nanny she decided that it was time for a ‘proper’ career, so she returned to Bridlington and enrolled at the Northern School of Osteopathy. She qualified top of her course and won the James Taylor Rose Bowl as a reward for her talents.
Shuna opened the Natural Physical Therapy Clinic in Prospect Street and was immediately successful, later joining forces with close friend Melanie Musgrove, and finally moving to premises in Gordon Road, where she worked until her health stared to fail.
Tributes have also been pouring in on Shuna’s Facebook page.
Ruby Wax’s daughter Madeleine Bye wrote: “Without you I wouldn’t be who or where I am today – will miss you forever and ever”, while Ruby’s youngest, Marina, simply wrote: “I love you Shuna.”
Other Facebook tributes include Pat Andrews, who says: “Good-bye Shuna, the Old Town will be a sad place without your presence.”
Zoe Naylor writes: “Rest in peace Shuna, we are all in shock. Love to you from your old friends Lorna, Zoe and families.”
And Alexander Fenn, who was also one of Shuna’s early charges, writes: “Just wanted to say what a great nanny you were and a wonderful person .... I was glad to have known (you) and thank you for what you had taught me about life.”