Catherine Waring died on May 3 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital aged 48. She was also bravely battling lupus, a condition which inflames joints, skin and organs.
The Worcester-born writer worked her way up from trainee reporter with the Shrewsbury Chronicle in the early 1990s to become a sub-editor for the Shropshire Star and its weekly sister papers.
She also spent time with the Hereford Journal and freelancing for a paper in Welshpool.
Husband Richard said: "She always wanted to be a journalist. She wasn't really interested in going to a national newspaper or getting into television or radio. She loved doing local stories. She loved meeting people."
As well as journalism, Catherine loved animals, and once when she covered a story about two cats named Henchman and Minion that were up for adoption from Sleapy Cat Rescue, near Shrewsbury, she couldn't help but give them a home herself.
"She loved animals," Richard said. "We've got seven cats."
He added: "The doctors said if she hadn't had lupus she could well have survived.
"It came as a big shock because she was improving, and at one stage she was close to being sent home. But then her oxygen levels kept dropping.
"I spoke to her on the phone and she didn't complain, even though she must have been struggling.
"The girls from the ITU were brilliant with her. They put themselves in a hazardous situation every day. They did the level best they could for Catherine."
Despite lupus slowing her down in recent years, she wasn't one to complain. Richard added: "As far as she was concerned, she was always fine. It was frustrating for her but she never complained about it."
She was also known for her generosity. Richard recalled an occasion where a woman Catherine didn't even know locked herself out of her house, so Catherine took the woman to her husband's workplace to get a spare key.
"She would do anything for anyone," he said.
Caroline Jones, group editor for weeklies and features, said: "Catherine was a well-liked and respected journalist who always had a smile on her face.
"She was warm and kind, and her fantastic sense of humour is fondly remembered by her former colleagues.
"Her family and friends are in our thoughts at this very sad time."
Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright added: "Catherine was a dedicated and talented journalist who made a big contribution during her time with the Shropshire Star and its associated weekly newspapers.
"She was a great character in the office and will be sorely missed by all of her former colleagues.
"Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad and difficult time."