Tragic Downpatrick mum Louise Baker (28) an inspiration to family circle, mourners told
A priest told mourners at the funeral of a 28-year-old woman yesterday that her death has left "a void so great" in the lives of those who loved her that "it is going to be hard to fill".
Father Maurice Henry paid tribute to mother-of-one Louise Baker during Requiem Mass where he said they were gathered in "sorrow, shocked and overcome by the sudden and tragic death of a young, vibrant woman of 28 years of age".
During the lunchtime service at St Patrick's Church in her native Downpatrick, prior to burial at Struell Cemetery, he told the congregation how her family described her as "bubbly, kind and considerate".
The keen sports player, who was a senior Gaelic footballer for Russell Gaelic Union (RGU) in Downpatrick and who also played soccer for Downpatrick FC, fell ill last Wednesday, February 14.
She was taken to the Ulster Hospital where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit but she died eight days later on February 22 with her family by her bedside.
"There are occasions in life when we cry out with anguish - why?" said Fr Henry. "An early tragic death such as Louise's is such an occasion. Over and above the normal sorrow and grief of the death of a loved one, there is a more anguished reaction at the death of someone so young."
Mourners heard how popular Supervalu shopworker Louise "passed through the gate of death after putting up a brave fight for eight days in Dundonald Hospital" surrounded by the "love of her family and of God".
The priest spoke of how she was "an inspiration to everyone in the family circle" and he referred to her "great sense of humour, quick wit and joy" as well as her "determination and resoluteness".
"Her family also mentioned her straightforward approach to life and to people," he said.
"She had no back doors, but spoke it as it was. She was easy to get along with, she was the life and soul of the party, made friends easily, tried to be helpful to all who met her, but Louise was, above all, very family orientated.
"She was a great mother to Rebecca, an excellent daughter and sister, someone with a massive heart."
Fr Henry said her partner Peter "also testified to how devoted she was to Rebecca and him".
He added that she was a loyal and trusted friend and he said her death "has left a great void in the lives of those who loved her - a void that is going to be hard to fill".
Louise is survived by her partner Peter, seven-year-old daughter Rebecca, parents Michael and Lorraine and siblings Conor, Kelly-Marie, Lisa, Ryan and Liam.