Gracie Spinks' funeral: “Gracie was the life and soul of the party - she lit up the room with her presence, smile and energy"
At St Bartholomew's Church in Old Whittington, Gracie Spinks’ coffin - shouldered by brother Thomas among others - was followed from the carriage.
Mourners surrounded the church’s exterior as Save Your Tears by The Weekend - an artist Gracie loved and had tickets to see before the pandemic saw them cancelled - was played.
And her brother Thomas fought back tears during a speech - telling how he was “the proudest brother in the world” and “how grumpy (Gracie) was in the morning if she didn’t have a cup of tea”.
Reverend Jo Morris, who has known Gracie since becoming rector eight years ago, described the 23-year-old in her own words following loved ones’ speeches.
She said Gracie was “not a shrinking violet” but a “performer” in dance as well as acting - from Dronfield Operatic Society, to London Theatres - and was also remembered as a back-up for choirs at weddings.
Rev Morris joked that, as a qualified lifeguard and Queen’s Park swimming instructor, Gracie could “perhaps” claim to be a mermaid - as was her childhood dream.
She said Gracie loved travel and visited “many different countries”.
Adding that “it would be wrong to paint a picture of her as Little Miss Perfect”, Jo said: “Gracie was the life and soul of the party - she lit up the room with her presence, smile and energy.
“And the weekenders’ sessions will never be the same but I do hope you all keep it up and raise a glass to her each weekend.”
Outside riders on horseback listened as Rev Morris told how Gracie had five jobs - with most of the money going towards her horses’ upkeep.
She described how after returning from events with Paddy Gracie would play Take Me Home, Country Roads, by John Denver “so he knew he was on his way home”.
Aptly, as the service came to an end and the Old Whittington girl was brought out of the church to the copse to be laid to rest the same song was played and Paddy was led to the graveside.