Anne Cole McBride, who was parliamentary assistant to Jackie Baillie, shadow cabinet secretary for finance, constitution and economy at Holyrood, has died suddenly aged 48.
Her death at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley on Friday 19 June after collapsing with a heart attack at her desk in the MSP’s Dumbarton constituency office in Castle Street on the Monday came as a huge shock to her husband, Councillor David McBride, and two grown-up children, Patrick and Beth.
One of eight children of chartered accountant Daniel Cole and Betty Gibbons, who was a teacher at St Patrick’s Primary School in Dumbarton, Anne was born at Braeholm Maternity Hospital in Helensburgh and educated at St Peter’s Primary in Bellsmyre and Notre Dame High School for girls at Clerkhill.
Her only sister Rose died in infancy after a tragic accident in the family home, and Anne was brought up the only girl with six brothers, Michael, Daniel, John, James (her twin), Liam and Dermott.
She married her childhood sweetheart, David McBride, 25 years ago on 2 June.
David, who is an executive officer in the Department of Works and Pensions, is a councillor for Dumbarton on West Dunbartonshire Council. He was elected in 2007 and is convener of the housing and communities committee.
Anne and David had just returned to Scotland from Florida, where they had been on holiday celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
They visited the Disney and Universal Orlando theme parks with 18-year-old Beth, a Strathclyde University student.
Patrick, 22, a Strathclyde graduate who is employed as a constable with the Ministry of Defence Police, remained at home.
Anne complained of feeling ill when she returned home to the couple’s new house at Glenfinnan Lane in the Lomondgate estate, but she shrugged it off and went to back to work as planned.
Although small and slim in stature, she had a reputation for being resilient, determined and loyal to Jackie Baillie for whom she had worked for 16 years.
The MSP said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened to Anne. She was a wonderful person.
“She was very sociable and came from a musically talented family. She was not a morning person at all and needed two cups of tea before you could speak to her in the morning.
“More than anything else I have lost a friend. She was an extremely capable individual who helped thousands of people in the constituency.
“Warm, sympathetic, compassionate and strong, she supported David in his work as a councillor and was my right-hand person who I relied on totally.
“She loved her family, adored her brothers and was a real daughter of the Rock – a Dumbarton lass through and through.
“There was no challenge too big or small for Anne to take on. She was fearless and everyone loved her. We will all miss her terribly.”
Anne was an active member of Dumbarton Burgh Labour Party, an enthusiastic canvasser and campaigner who worked hard on constituents’ problems and at election time.
She had lots of friends with whom she socialised often and the closest of them was Pauline Allen. They went to primary school together and had been best friends ever since.
Previous to her work with the MSP, Anne worked as an administrative assistant for Lennox Motor Factors at Broadmeadow, and previous to that was employed with Allied Distillers in Dumbarton East and Polaroid UK at Strathleven Estate.
Anne McBride’s funeral took place on Saturday at St Patrick’s Church, Dumbarton.