Family pay tribute to world's most tattooed senior citizen Isobel Varley from Stevenage who passed away peacefully on Monday
PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:56 14 May 2015
Tributes have been pouring in for a Stevenage pensioner - famous for having 93 per cent of her body covered in tattoos - who died on Monday.
Isobel Varley, who lived in Franklin’s Road with her husband Malc, passed away peacefully at the town’s Lister Hospital aged 77.
The former silver service waitress also had around 50 piercings. The only parts of her body that weren’t tattooed were her face, the bottom of her feet and part of her hands.
Malc, 78, married Isobel in 1960 and said: “She was a beautiful woman both physically and spiritually and everyone could see it. She was a free spirit until the end.”
Her Facebook page has received more than 30,000 hits since her death was announced.
Son Steve said: “People have been messaging us with pictures from all over the world.
“It just shows how much she meant to so many people.”
Isobel was a latecomer to tattoos, getting her first at the age of 49 after visiting a London tattoo convention.
After getting the bug Isobel had a new tattoo every fortnight until her body was totally covered.
Initially she kept her lower arms and legs clear because of her work as a waitress, but eventually had these areas covered as well.
She did draw the line on tattoos on her face, saying that it would have changed her personality.
In the mid 1990s her ink started to attract a lot of media attention, propelling her from a life of relative obscurity to arguably the world’s most famous tattooed woman.
Steve said: “She never had a problem with being in the limelight. She loved talking to people and adored travelling around the world.”
Malc added: “She was the most beautiful person I ever met and we spent an incredible 55 years together.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the staff at Ward B South in Lister Hospital and everyone working at Halcyon Days care home in Graveley.”