Tributes paid to special woman who died on Christmas Day
FRIENDS have paid tribute to Fraser Coast businesswoman and well-known identity Kellie Scarponi, who died suddenly on Christmas Day.
Enzo Audreuzzi who owns Enzo's On the Beach café on the Esplanade, said their mornings would never be the same again.
"She comes in every morning, sits at table one and orders the same drink - Earl Grey tea with milk on the side," he said.
"We all feel different knowing she's not going to come in anymore."
Mr Audreuzzi described Mrs Scarponi as a positive, happy person who lit up everyone's life.
"She is well known and everyone at the café are used to seeing her paddleboard with her dog every morning. We are shocked," he said.
Mrs Scarponi was best known for setting up Little Miss Cupcake with her daughter Hannah Miller, who won Tourism People's Choice award for Young Business Person of the Year a few months ago.
The mother-daughter duo have appeared in many articles in various publications and just recently, renovated their shop at Main St to serve meals and host parties.
Mrs Scarponi was also very involved in the community and one of the organisations she was passionate about was Bayside Transformations.
Director of the rehab centre, Tina Embry, who said she was still in a state of shock, said she hasn't been able to sleep since hearing the news.
"I've only known her for two years, but she's made such impact in our lives and I'm just devastated for her family," she said.
"Just before her passing away, she helped sell cupcakes to get Christmas gifts for the residents here.
"She was such a giving person. In October, she made cupcakes for our fundraising event and raised 3000 for it. She was such a big supporter of our organisation."
Ms Embry said she heard the news when she went to mass at Bayside Christian Church in Pialba, which was also Mrs Scarponi's church.
Church pastor, Ross Davie who was on a holiday at the time of Mrs Scarponi's death, said the whole church community was grieving her death but the family was holding up really well.
"Kellie's husband called me to tell me of the news. I spoke to him and the family is obviously shocked and sad, but he has the church's full support, help and encouragement," he said.
Pastor Davie said Mrs Scarponi was an active member of the church and regularly volunteered at the Shalom OP Shop in Pialba and volunteered as a bus driver to ferry kids to the church.
"She and her daughter often donated cupcakes for morning tea and she was very welcoming of new members. It's a sad loss and she will be sorely missed," he said.