Members of Rotorua's Elim Church are rallying around the family of the woman who was killed by a falling tree in Friday's storm.

Trish Butterworth, who served with her husband Keith on the tea and ushering ministry at the church, was described by church members on Facebook as "an amazing strong woman of God".

Read more: Woman killed by falling tree in Rotorua a 'tragic accident'
Rotorua church pays tribute to woman killed by fallen tree

Close friend Karri-Ann Vercoe posted that she "has such a loving heart and welcoming arms, her faith in our Jesus radiated from her words of wisdom and close connection to the Holy Spirit".


Praying for the family of the lady crushed under the fallen tree today - to later discover she is a close and very dear...

Posted by Karri-Ann Vercoe on Thursday, 4 January 2018

Ross and Helen Branson posted: "Our family is very sadly shocked by the loss of this beautiful lady who was our carer for both Mum and Dad for quite some years."

Maria Mason wrote: "She will be deeply missed not only by her whānau and friends but also the children she taught."

Amybeth Gutwein said: "I loved the deep and meaningful conversations I had with her and especially loved seeing her face light up when her very much loved husband came. She acted like a cute teenager with major crush!"

Butterworth died when a historic oak tree on the corner of Arawa St and Amohia St, Rotorua, fell on her car at the height of the storm on Friday morning.

Spencer's Oak fell on Trish Butterworth's car in Friday's storm. Photo / Ben Fraser
Spencer's Oak fell on Trish Butterworth's car in Friday's storm. Photo / Ben Fraser

The tree, known as Spencer's Oak, was more than 150 years old and was protected by the Rotorua District Plan. Local residents have said the tree was dangerous but the council had not responded to complaints about it.

Butterworth's Facebook page, which she shared with her husband Keith, shows her in front of a motorcycle in 2015 with her comment: "Keith swapped his one for this to fit my long body on lol."

Posted by Keith Trish Butterworth on Friday, 6 February 2015

An earlier post in 2014 shows her graduating from the NZ Tertiary College.

Posted by Keith Trish Butterworth on Friday, 11 April 2014

The Elim Church said Butterworth's body would be at her home for two days where people could pay their respects.


"A church service will be held for her Tuesday at Elim church 10am," the Facebook page says. She will then be buried at Te Puke.