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Tears and praise at Kara's funeral

PUBLISHED: 20:31 28 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

TEARFUL family and classmates gathered today to say their final farewells to talented teenager Kara Tournay-Godfrey who was their shining star.

The funeral took place today of the Copleston High School pupil, who died at the age of 16 years after a long battle against liver disease.

TEARFUL family and classmates gathered today to say their final farewells to talented teenager Kara Tournay-Godfrey who was their shining star.

The funeral took place today of the Copleston High School pupil, who died at the age of 16 years after a long battle against liver disease.

Friends, including her best friend Kira, read letters Kara sent from hospital where she talked of her friends visiting her and told that she worried about them.

Hospital chaplain the Rev Gordon Melvin said that her hospital room had an atmosphere of love and devotion and spoke of a profound serenity about her, her wisdom and understanding beyond that of her years.

"It was a privilege to be near her," he said.

Pallbearers brought Kara's coffin into the church to the music of Alanis Morrisette's Utopia which includes the words "This is utopia, this is my utopia, this is my ideal my end in sight" in the chorus.

The Rev David Newton from Chelmondiston who conducted the service read out tributes from the family.

Her sister Jade, 20, wrote of her courageous spirit and said she was a beautiful person who knew exactly what her sister thought and understood her.

Her father Craig, 43, told that he was proud she was his daughter and said that they shared the same sense of humour together.

Her mother, Delia, 43, wrote: "I feel blessed to have her as my daughter…she was my soul mate…she instinctively knew what was right, she was and always will be my inspiration." She also told of her caring nature and of her concern for others until the very end.

The song "Somewhere Out There" was sung by Philip Day, accompanied by Kara's sister Jade, a 20-year-old drama student, on the piano - a fitting tribute to Kara's musical talent.

As family and friends said their final farewells at the packed church, head teacher Laurie Robinson paid tribute to the courageous and gifted youngster. "Kara's courage was an inspiration to staff and students he said. She was an excellent academic, a gifted musician, a good singer, an excellent artist and an all round talented person. She was always cheerful."

Nine teachers were among the gathering of family and friends paying respected to Kara at today's funeral.

The funeral was followed by a private cremation at Bury St Edmunds and a wake at Newton Road Conservative Club in Ipswich.

Flora tributes and cards decorated the funeral directors today. Among them was a poignant poem written by Kara's sister, Jade: "When I'm sad she comes to me, in a thousand smiles she gives to me free," she wrote

Two of Kara's prayers, written at Kings Hospital were read out at the funeral.

In one she asked to keep her friends well and strong in the other she prayed for the ongoing strength of all the nurses and doctors at the hospital.

Kara's family want the caring youngster's memory to live on by naming a room in her honour at Ipswich Hospital. They are hoping to raise more than £11,000 to put in patio doors at Bergholt Ward, where Kara spent her last weeks and to transform the garden with a patio and decking.

Kara, of Wimborne Avenue, Ipswich, took part in fund raising events for the children's Liver Disease Foundation. She took to the stage to sing the hit "My Heart Will Go On" at a concert for fellow pupils at Copleston High.

Kara's room will be a fitting tribute to the youngster who cared so much about others. Donations should be sent to Kara's Room, Bergholt Amenity Fund, c/o Michael Smy Funeral Services, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

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