Hayley Fleming's friends and family were shocked when she died suddenly on October 11. She was only 28.By Kaitlin Thals
Family, friends and colleagues agree Hayley Maree Fleming (nee Barnstable) was a bright, cheerful and compassionate woman with an infectious personality.
This shone through with her vibrant dress-sense and bright, red hair.
The 28-year-old died on October 11 when she suffered a heart attack caused by a blood clot that formed in her leg.
Hayley’s parents Terry and Jenny Barnstable, and brothers Kyle, 26, and Josh, 18, said Hayley was always in charge of their family and was often called the ‘‘little mother’’.
As she grew older, Hayley’s motherly ways spread to her husband, Shawn Fleming and to her many friends.
‘‘She was compassionate and concerned for people, more than herself,’’ mother Jenny said.
Hayley grew up on a dairy farm in Waaia and attended Waaia Primary School, Numurkah Secondary College and later moved to McGuire College in Shepparton to study information technology.
Hayley was interested in IT from a young age and was awarded a Monash University IT scholarship two years running during high school.
Later she would go on to work at McPherson Media Group and become a well-respected and highly skilled technical support officer.
After 10 years together, Hayley and Shawn tied the knot at a surprise wedding in Shepparton on July 9, 2011.
‘‘We always laughed when Hayley first brought home this big, tattooed bloke who drove a purple panel van,’’ Jenny said.
‘‘But he is a beautiful guy and an addition to the family, and his family had taken Hayley as theirs. They planned to have kids like any other couple would."
‘‘They were into classic cars and ’50s music, and have tattoos and wear bright clothing — they lived that lifestyle,’’ Terry said.
Hayley was always fond of music and organised gigs with local bands and a charity fundraiser music event in Shepparton.
Hayley’s brothers loved visiting her at her Shepparton home where they would have their own ‘‘backstage pass’’ to all the bands in town.
‘‘She was a great big sister — and daughter — we always knew they were safe with her,’’ Jenny said.
Hayley had completed a tattoo course, piercing course and was going on to do a tattoo removal course.
‘‘She loved working out here (McPherson Media Group) and working out with the guys at McPherson Media, I don’t think she realised how smart she was, I don’t have a clue how to get the internet hooked up,’’ Jenny said.
‘‘We’re just going to miss her. We had many legendary shopping trips together and lots of laughs."
Hayley joined McPherson Media Group in 2005 in a traineeship administration role at McPherson Media, the internet service provider business, and quickly moved into a more technical role as her IT skills became apparent.
Hayley was an enthusiastic and highly respected member of the McPherson Media team and performed a key role for the business as a Technical Support Officer in addition to performing the important role of maintaining back end network systems.
Her friendly nature, infectious personality and strong customer focus endeared her to customers and her colleagues alike.
Hayley was a highly valued employee of the McPherson Media Group and will be sadly missed by the business, her friends, colleagues and customers.
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