Ipswich/Sproughton: Hundreds gather to pay respects to Javiel O’Connor
- Credit: Archant
Leather-clad bikers lined up with those in suits to pay their respects to Javiel O’Connor at the 22-year-old father’s funeral on Friday.
The body of the biking enthusiast from Frampton Road, Ipswich, was transported to and from to the service at Whitton Church by an unusual motorbike hearse, chosen by his heartbroken family.
Javiel’s mother Vicki and step-father Dominic were surprised by just how many people attended the church, with about 200 people packed inside and many more waiting outside.
Javiel died on June 29 after his Honda motorbike hit a lamppost on the off-slip road of the westbound carriageway of the A14 at Sproughton.
Friday’s service was overseen by the Rev Andrew Dotchin, chosen by Javiel’s family as he was familiar to him from his school days.
Dominic said: “It did surprise us when we went through the door and then saw all the people in there who had travelled up with us. Javiel’s death affected a lot of people.” Javiel was carried in a distinctively-designed coffin featuring an image of a motorbike, chosen by his mother, stepfather and his brothers Damien and Jaiden.
Damien and Jaiden were joined by some of Javiel’s closest friends as they carried the coffin into the church.
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Dominic added: “We want to say thank you to the people who came and showed their respect and were able to help with some of the planning and just to everyone who helped make it so successful.”
Javiel’s girlfriend Chloe Barker, 21, was also at the funeral, along with their baby son Tyler, and many of his biking pals and old school friends were among the mourners.
Speaking before the funeral, Javiel’s family said they would remember him as a “lovable person” and that anyone who had met Javiel would never forget him.
They said: “He was always a boy who didn’t know the meaning of seriousness. It didn’t matter how many problems were placed upon his shoulders, he would always try to make the best of a bad situation and would not let anyone stay upset for long. Since the day he got a bike of his own his natural talent was clear, Javiel had bikes in his blood.
“He always tried his hardest to be the best. He wanted to be among the greatest bikers in the world and was planning to go to the Isle Of Man TT next year to watch and do some laps, with his ambition to take part in the TT race itself at a later year drawing on his inspiration from Guy Martin his favourite TT rider.
“Javiel was strong minded in his views but would openly banter about other people’s.”