OBITUARY: Port Stephens community mourns the loss of Summer Lockley (nee Arathoon) from breast cancer

FAMILY: Summer Lockley (nee Arathoon) with husband Damien and children Jaydon, born in 2009 and Timothy, born in 2011. Picture: Supplied
FAMILY: Summer Lockley (nee Arathoon) with husband Damien and children Jaydon, born in 2009 and Timothy, born in 2011. Picture: Supplied

The Port Stephens community is mourning the loss last month of Summer Lockley (nee Arathoon) from breast cancer - more than 30 years after her mother Dolly Diemar had died from the same illness.

The proud mother [and wife] of two had moved from Port Stephens to Queensland some years ago to pursue a successful radio and television career. She was 44 years of age.

Summer was the youngest of three girls to Dolly and Leo Arathoon. Her sisters Jayda and Elise were aged 15 and 18 when their mother died.

Elise spoke of Summer's bravery after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, which included receiving treatment overseas and changing both her diet and lifestyle to help fight the disease.

"She became a strong advocate for not only breast cancer patients but other cancer patients everywhere, helping to counsel them through their journey. In addition to providing support, Summer would encourage everyone to remain vigilant and get regular breast & general check-ups," said Elise.

Born at Nelson Bay Community Hospital in August 1977, Summer attended Nelson Bay Infants School, Shoal Bay Primary School, danced at Robyn Yvette's and graduated from Newcastle Grammar in 1995. She was named school captain in Year 12 and received the school award for 'Character & Influence'.

Jayda remembers Summer as a positive and outgoing person who loved playing softball and joined the Student Training Unit (cadets). After a gap year in the UK teaching English as a second language, she commenced a career in radio and television, starting her working career at 2HD Newcastle. She moved to Hot Tomato, then on to Sea FM, 7 News Gold Coast and eventually Channel 9 Brisbane.

Father Leo spoke fondly of his daughter, who like her mother, was taken away as a result of breast cancer.

"After the death of Dolly, who operated a shop called Dolly's in Magnus Street, we did our best to get through some tough times."

Friend and work colleague Kate Carlyle described Summer as a truly remarkable woman, who was employed as news director at the newly established Gold Coast radio station, Hot Tomato.

"She set up the entire operation, creating a sound that would resonate with our listeners from day one. Later Summer was given the opportunity to present the weather and report for local television. Summer was involved in teaching English in the Kimberley to the indigenous children."

Summer married Damien Lockley in 2007 and they have two boys, Jaydon and Timothy.

She died at Lismore Base Hospital and a testimonial service was held in Kingscliff.