Remember the laughs, the singing, the terrible jokes: Mourners pack out Whitton church for brave Kaylen’s funeral

The funeral of Kaylen O'Connor, the brave eight-year-old boy who died two weeks ago.

The funeral of Kaylen O'Connor, the brave eight-year-old boy who died two weeks ago. - Credit: Archant

Around 150 people packed into an Ipswich church today to pay their last respects to brave Kaylen O’Connor.

Kaylen O'Connor with his dad Derek O'Connor.

Kaylen O'Connor with his dad Derek O'Connor. - Credit: Archant

The eight-year-old from Whitton died in mid-March after battling a brain tumour which three years ago had cost him his sight.

Mourners filled out St Mary and St Boltoph’s church in Whitton yesterday for the youngster’s funeral – and got to hear him joking for one last time.

Many of those attending wore something orange at Kaylen’s family’s request, from scarves and ties to flowers on jackets.

As the simple white coffin was carried into the church, covered in loving messages from friends and family, the song You Are My Sunshine was played to the congregation.

Leading the service Rev Andrew Dotchin said Kaylen should be remembered for his singing, his laughing and his joking.

“Today is an intensely sad day but it’s also a day when we come to say thank you.

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“It’s a day when if you can, let’s sing. Even in the bad times Kaylen laughed, and told some terrible jokes, so let’s do that and even if you cry, that’s OK.”

This brought a laugh from the congregation and set the mood for the service – moments of quiet reflection, some tears, but smiles too as friends and family remembered the cheeky and loving youngster.

Older sister Cody was composed as she read a short eulogy to her brother which brought a round of applause from all present.

And Mr Dotchin read out a poem written by Kaylen’s friends from Whitton Community Primary School.

He added Kaylen’s strength and courage brought “a deep joy which gave hope to everyone whose life he touched”.

Mid-way through the service was a chance for those present, many of them children, to light a candle in Kaylen’s memory while a slideshow of photos from his life was shown.

Finishing off the service was a recording of Kaylen, singing and telling jokes, as a final goodbye to those who had filled every pew of the picturesque church.