A FRIEND of an Edinburgh man whose wife was killed in a botched robbery in Colorado has offered to pay the full £4000 cost of her funeral.
Tommy Ross only learned of the tragic death of Kelly Fallon when he read the Evening News yesterday.
Mr Ross has been friends with Ms Fallon’s husband, Tam Hill, for more than 30 years and last saw the couple at a party in a pub in Portobello last year to celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
The Evening News told yesterday how Mr Hill, from Meadowbank, had spoken to his wife by phone just hours before she became one of five innocent victims of the shooting in a bar in Denver.
After hearing of the tragedy, Mr Ross, a boxing coach from Craigmillar, pledged to cover the full cost of the funeral.
Speaking from America just hours after he buried his wife in a plot next to her mother and brother, Mr Hill, 44, said he was “flabbergasted” by Mr Ross’s generosity.
He said: “It’s unbelievable. He’s a good friend – I’ll see him when I get back to Scotland. It’s astounding but it’s the type of guy that he is.”
Friends and family of 44-year-old Ms Fallon were yesterday preparing for a memorial service following the funeral.
Mr Ross, 62, said: “I was just sitting reading the paper at a friend’s house. I was devastated. I met Kelly about three times but she was the kind of lass that as soon as you met her you knew her. She was a lovely girl who was enjoying her life.
“It hasn’t sunk in – I couldn’t believe it. Finance won’t come into it for Tam but he’s had to travel at short notice and he’ll be paying through the nose. I wanted to do anything I could to help.”
Ms Kallon returned to her native America due to visa problems, but had a meeting organised with immigration officials for next month.
Mr Ross said he had questions over why she had had to return to America. He added: “She should have had the right to come to this country – especially as she’s married to a guy from this country. Someone has to answer for why she was rejected – but that’s for another day.”
Originally from California, Ms Fallon married Mr Hill in 2009 and the couple moved to Meadowbank. The grandmother of two, who had a 23-year-old son from a previous relationship, had been due to celebrate her 45th birthday on Wednesday.
Friend, Karis Holman also speaking from the States, paid tribute to Ms Fallon, saying they became like sisters after the pair met as teenagers.
“My husband died in 2008, and the joke was she became my wife because of how she looked after me when I was in a terrible state. She was so vibrant, elegant and full of life. She would wake up excited.
“It’s so touching that we’ve been offered the money. We want to thank him from the bottom of our hearts.”