Staff at Reconnect are reeling after the tragic loss of manager Angela McDuff, who was the victim of a fatal car accident on Gocup Road last Thursday.
Reconnect Tumut Store Manager Angela Britt described Angela as a happy, bubbly, optimistic person who always had a smile on her face.
“She described her laugh as evil even though it wasn’t – she had a real cackle, like a witch’s cackle, and she would just laugh until she had tears in her eyes,” she said.
“The [Reconnect] girls said the last conversation they had with her was Ange laughing, and that’s just Ange all over. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Up until twelve months ago Angela lived in Shellharbour, but she had always wanted to live in the country.
When a job opportunity came up in Temora for a manager at their Reconnect store she jumped at the chance.
She made the brave decision to move out of home for the first time at the age of 36 to embrace a rural lifestyle.
“She loved country life, she was all about going to rodeos, the show, ute musters, anything she could do that was country,” Ms Britt said.
“She was happy, she was successful, she was just starting a relationship – her life was just starting pretty much.”
Angela lived in Cootamundra, where she went to bible study three times a week, spent time with friends, and had just started a new relationship. She travelled to the Temora and Tumut Reconnect stores to work.
Ms Britt wiped away tears as she described Ange’s sunny personality and the strong positive impact she had on those around her.
“She was only here for 12 months but she was really close with all the managers in the company. She really found her mark,” she said.
Reconnect employees in both Temora and Tumut have had a counsellor provided for them by the company, who Ms Britt said has been “really good” throughout these difficult times.
The day that the devastating car accident cut Angela’s promising young life short was the last day she was making the commute between Tumut and Cootamundra, where she had been sharing her NBN expertise with Tumut staff.
“She was in Tumut doing some support training while I was in Temora training all of her new staff. She was over here helping us with the NBN because she’s an NBN specialist,” Ms Britt explained.
“She was really, really good at what she did.
“It’s just so unfortunate that on her last day – she wasn’t tired, she wasn’t stressed, she was having a great day. It’s just crazy that it happened like that, because she had a big future.”
A funeral is being held for Angela McDuff in Shellharbour today, and Ms Britt is also planning a memorial service for those in Tumut who loved her.