Final farewell to Marie

ON A wet and cloudy day, an Ipswich community gathered to say farewell to one of its children.Friends, family and schoolchildren united in grief as they paid thanks for the life of 13-year-old Marie Mutimer.

ON A wet and cloudy day, an Ipswich community gathered to say farewell to one of its children.

Friends, family and schoolchildren united in grief as they paid thanks for the life of 13-year-old Marie Mutimer.

Marie fell ill on Christmas Eve and, despite the desperate efforts of doctors at Ipswich and Guys Hospital, she died on Christmas Day.

Her heart had been left weak by a flu bug she contracted as a young girl and it was this which led to her sudden death.


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A miracle child, Marie was born after her parents suffered eight miscarriages and her death has left a huge gap in their lives.

Walking behind Marie's hearse on the way to Stoke Green Baptist Church, Janice and John Mutimer were joined by Marie's beloved dog and companion Max.

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As Marie's coffin approached the packed church, Stoke High School's orchestra began to play and her classmates entered the church, preparing to say goodbye to their friend.

Led into the church by Abba's Thank you for the Music, members of Marie's family placed dolphin balloons onto her coffin because she had a love for the creatures.

Her teachers then paid tribute to the mature youngster who helped guide those around her.

Jess Hegarty, Marie's form tutor at Stoke, said: "Sometimes I wondered who was the adult."

She said Marie was a kind hearted member of the tutor group and that her classmates were only just beginning to discover what an asset she had become.

Penny Moir, who taught Marie at Halifax Primary and remained friends with the family through the church, talked about the bond between Marie and her parents.

She said Marie was treated as a third adult in the family and got her strength from her parents.

She said Marie did not always find it easy at school but went there to find out what she needed to know and said her mum would help her at home.

Reverend Robert Findlay then read a tribute from Marie's friend Yazz and talked of Marie's bubbly personality.

It read: "Marie was the only person who could laugh all the way through musical statues and still stay still."

It was the second child's funeral to touch the community of Maidenhall and Stoke Park in a month.

In December the funeral of ten-year-old Shona Gill also took place at the church.

Shona and Marie had become friends through the church's young people's group and Shona's parents were at yesterday's service.

Hundreds of people packed into the funeral of a Suffolk man yesterday who raised more than £100,000 for cancer charities after being diagnosed with the illness himself.

Former sales director Graham Lockwood devoted himself to fundraising to help improve the lives of others during the last 20 months of his life.

Mr Lockwood, from Mendlesham near Stowmarket, was just 44 at the time of his death on Boxing Day.

Yesterday, people packed into the parish church at Mendlesham to pay their respects to a man so many had admired.

Through a series of events including auctions, dances, golf days and swimathons, he and others raised cash for the likes of Cancer Campaign in Suffolk, Macmillan Cancer Relief and the Somersham Ward in Ipswich Hospital.

Mr Lockwood leaves a wife, Angela, and two sons, Matt and Craig.

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