Father’s tribute to ‘wonderful girl’ who inspired him

SO SAD Lily's coffin is carried into the church
SO SAD Lily's coffin is carried into the church
Christina Harman and Marie Shawyer and their supporters from Gosport and Fareham running clubs.

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SHE will always be remembered for being a bright and generous little girl.

And yesterday Lily Channon’s parents Mark Channon and Kelly Mullett were joined by close friends and family to say a final goodbye.

Lily Channon

Lily Channon

The six-year-old’s funeral was held at St Thomas the Apostle Church, Gosport, where she was carried in a pink princess-themed coffin.

In a poignant moment, her dad Mark sang part of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera. Lily was a huge fan of the musical.

And Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs was played, sung by Mark and Lily.

Mark, of Priory Road, Gosport, spoke about his daughter.

He said: ‘Lily lived a remarkable life – one that inspired us all greatly.

‘She was a wonderful girl to know – patient and generous, with time and affection for everyone.

‘Lily was a very clever girl, she soaked up information like a sponge.

‘Nighty, nighty, sleepy tighty. Now at peace, see you soon Lily, love you.’

Father Simon Rundell returned to the church in Elson Road, to conduct the service after he moved away to Plymouth last month.

He said: ‘For many the death of a child, and in particular the sudden and tragic death of a lively young person such as Lily, is almost unspeakable.

‘But if we shy away from such things then we do a great disservice to Lily, to her memory and the impact she had on so many people around her.

‘So much life and light brought into this family by this special, unique little girl.

‘I’m sure you all have your own memories of Lily. I’m sure that this will ensure that her memory is treasured for ever.’

Lily, who went to Elson Infant School, in Exmouth Road, Gosport.

The school will pay tribute to her by holding a ceremony at the church tomorrow.

This will be followed by a balloon release from the school’s playing fields.

Staff plan to put a water feature in the school’s garden in her memory as Lily was a fan of sports like swimming and rowing.

As reported in The News yesterday, Lily first showed signs of being unwell on Saturday, March 3, after coming home from a birthday party. Her parents noticed she had become quiet and kept her off school on the Monday and Tuesday, believing she had a cold.

On the Wednesday her parents ran a bath for her, but she started to become more ill.

Concerned, her parents called paramedics, who took Lily to Queen Alexandra, Hospital, Cosham.

Although doctors did all they could, Lily died and her loved ones have been left baffled by the cause of her death. Two post mortems have been carried out, but results have been inconclusive.