THE family of Dudley-born businesswoman Terrie Beardsmore, owner of Dunsley Hall Hotel, have vowed her legacy will live on at the popular boutique hotel following her tragic death from COVID-19.

Terrie, together with her husband Wilf and their son Simon, transformed the former Marsh estate mansion in Kinver into a much-loved hotel after taking it on in 2006.

Redditch Advertiser: Wilf and Terrie BeardsmoreWilf and Terrie Beardsmore

The family business has since expanded to include Harleys Smokehouse restaurant plus a cocktail bar and gelato bar which was overlooked by alpacas.

Hard-working Terrie, however, had been battling cancer for the last few years and on April 19 - just weeks after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour - she passed away from coronavirus.

Her heartbroken husband Wilf said: "It's been really hard. It's been a rough three or four years."

Terrie, aged 61, had battled cervical cancer, then breast cancer and in March she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital on March 16.

She had been making good progress, her son Simon, 39, said but then she started to deteriorate at home. She was suffering from breathing problems and it was suspected she had the virus so an ambulance was called and she was taken to Russells Hall Hospital.

That was the last time Wilf, aged 68, saw his wife of 42 years - until he was called to ICU to say his final goodbye.

Choking back tears, he told how he donned personal protective equipment that left him looking like an "astronaut" to see his beloved wife one last time and he said: "It was pretty emotional for me."

He said he and Terrie, who had met as young sweethearts in Dudley and married when Terrie was 19, had been able to text each other and he added: "The last words we said to each other were 'I love you' and 'I love you back'."

Wilf, a former security firm director, said he was grateful for the years they shared and he added: "I'd do it again tomorrow."

He said his wife was "very much loved" and he thanked the staff in ICU for their care and help at such a traumatic time and vowed to return to the ward when the threat from coronavirus passes to hand over money raised by his grandson Lewis Beardsmore in memory of Terrie.

Lewis, aged 12, of Gornal, has been walking/cycling a mile for every £1 donated and to date he has raised almost £1,700.

Redditch Advertiser: Lewis Beardsmore with his Nan - TerrieLewis Beardsmore with his Nan - Terrie

The family say they plan to continue Terrie's work at Dunsley Hall - although Simon, Lewis's dad, admitted it will be a challenge.

He said: "Mom did everything. She took on everything personally."

Terrie had still been going into work every day despite knowing something was wrong in the lead up to her illness, he said, and the family made the "heartbreaking" decision to find a new home for the popular alpacas in February.

He described his mum, who grew up in Wren's Nest, Dudley, as a "passionate businesswoman" who worked as a legal secretary before moving into finance, then house building. She later ran Upton Estates in Kinver, as well as The Olde House Tearooms and an interior design business in the village before taking on Dunsley Hall.

Redditch Advertiser: Terrie Beardsmore, centre, with Cllr Brian Edwards, left, Gavin Williamson MP, right, and Wilf and Simon Beardsmore, back.Terrie Beardsmore, centre, with Cllr Brian Edwards, left, Gavin Williamson MP, right, and Wilf and Simon Beardsmore, back.

Simon, who has two other children Darcie, aged four, and seven-month-old Eliza, stressed he and Wilf are determined to carry on and he added: "The legacy of my Mom is here. She spent her life here."

Dr Paul Collins, a planning and conservation officer who got to know Terrie when she bought historic Dunsley Hall - which had been the scene of the infamous murder in 1812, said he would "miss her terribly".

He said: "I had the pleasure and privilege of helping her realise her dream of turning it into a hotel and wedding venue. Whatever happened to the hall, it needed a lot of repair work from the start, which Terrie did not flinch at. Her plans were ambitious and far reaching, and my role was to see that achieving these did not compromise the history and heritage of the hall and its grounds.

"We quickly established a rapport, and over numerous meetings and discussions, plans for the building evolved. I admired Terrie's passion for her ideas, which was hard to resist. She always consulted me about things, and what she and her husband Wilf have achieved at Dunsley Hall will stand as her lasting legacy. Even now it is impossible to think of Terrie without smiling, which is the hallmark of a good person and a life well lived. She was fond of saying 'not bad for a kid from the the Wrenner, eh!'"

A funeral service for Terrie will be held this week.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in her memory can do so online at justgiving.com and search 'Weʼre raising £500 to Russell’s Hall Hospital ICU'.

Dunsley Hall is currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak but Harley's Smokehouse is open for takeaways.