David Aumonier funeral: Music, laughter and tears of joy as hairdresser given a rousing send-off
Hundreds turn out in Bangor to pay tribute at funeral of much-loved stylist to the stars
Uplifting music and joyful memories provided the backdrop as mourners said a final farewell to celebrity hairdresser David Aumonier.
Hundreds packed into the Bangor First Presbyterian Church to pay their respects to the stylist to the stars, who died peacefully in his sleep from cancer on Tuesday.
The uplifting service celebrated the life of the Bangor-based hairdresser, who moved from Gloucester to Ballyholme aged four.
Radio star George Jones played guitar and sang Blue Moon in honour of the big Manchester City fan, with the congregation encouraged to join in.
Mr Jones said: "It's hard for me to sing this because I'm a Man United fan, but I'll do it for David. If I had a blue scarf I'd have worn it for him."
David's wife Lawrain, daughter Paris and son Davis also recalled warm memories of the 58-year-old.
"David wanted you all to know that he was a wonderful lover," Lawrain said to laughter from the congregation. "He felt it was important I told you all that, but I'm keeping a reserved silence on the details."
She also told how her husband always introduced as her as "my current wife", to which she would reply "and this is my future ex-husband".
Reading a poem about friendship written by a fellow Aumonier, Paris joked: "I can't remember who he (the writer) was. Perhaps I should have listened more when he (her dad) was blabbering on about these things."
Rev Mairisine Stanfield, who led the service, recalled how she knew the family and how David would always greet her with a hug and a kiss and his signature smile.
She told how David met Lawrain at a hairdressing conference in Scotland and how he would jokingly tell people that his future wife "chased him", despite having a long-distance relationship for the first few months.
She also detailed how David's career started when he left Bangor Grammar aged 16, after which he opened a salon in the town, and some time later in Belfast. "From (leaving school), he signed up for a hairdressing course at tech," said Rev Stanfield. "He said he knew that he would be surrounded by women and he was right - he was the only male in the class, which he loved.
"After his father Michael died, David would do 'homers' on his bicycle around Bangor, going to older ladies' houses who would feed him.
"To his friends, his number one passion was football, but in fact it was these lovely people in front of me (his family). He once told me that his best achievement in life was his family, especially his kids. He was so proud of them - especially daddy's girl Paris."
The atmosphere was kept light as the band, comprising Jones on guitar, a pianist and a singer, performed Mr Aumonier's favourite songs, including Van Morrison's In The Garden. Later the congregation rose to its feet to sing along to Bring Me Sunshine. David Bowie's Young Americans was also played as a recessional song.
In the immediate aftermath of his death, fellow stylist Paul Stafford described Mr Aumonier as "a colossus of a figure" in the hairdressing world.