BADGES showing the smiling face of campaigner Elizabeth Fallon were worn by mourners who packed a church for her funeral.
The 38-year-old former languages teacher from Gosport, known as Liz, had battled with breast cancer and became known all over the world for her ‘Road to Recovery’ campaign.
Elizabeth’s badges, which read ‘On the road to recovery’, sent out an inspirational message to cancer sufferers all over the world.
She lost her fight last month and yesterday around 300 people turned out to pay their respects at her funeral.
People stood, crammed into the church’s upstairs balcony and stood outside listening to speakers during the service at St Thomas the Apostle Church in Elson.
The audio from the service was also streamed live on the internet, to enable people to listen all over the world.
Liz’s coffin was covered in a bouquet of pink and white flowers, a photo of her and a pair of red shoes. Her pupils at Gosport’s Bay House School used to call her ‘the lady with the red shoes’ as she often wore a pair to school.
The hour-long service was filled with tributes to Liz, hymns and prayers.
Her dad, Terry Cokeley, thanked those who attended including three American friends, who travelled across the Atlantic to pay their respects to the campaigner, who they met through her badge scheme.
Mr Cokeley, said: ‘We were so fortunate to be Elizabeth’s parents. We were so proud of her. She was a wonderful daughter. But most of all, she was my best friend.’
Catherine O’Sullivan was one of her closest friends, who worked with Liz when she was a languages teacher.
‘Our friendship grew from strength to strength,’ she said.
‘The wonder of Liz was that she made friends so quickly everywhere she went.
‘She was the sort of person you could tell anything to because she was so interested in you and what you had done.
‘She was the friend I told everything to. She was the first person I told that I was getting married.
‘Her cheerfulness throughout has been an inspiration to many. She was always positive and full of hope.
‘She never looked for sympathy or pity, it just wasn’t in her nature.
‘She will be so proud of the fantastic comments people have made about her.
‘The tributes from all over the world would make her heart sing with pride.
‘I’m absolutely devastated that she has gone. It was an honour and a privilege to call her my friend and I loved her dearly. She was quite simply the best friend I could ever have wished for.’
Mrs O’Sullivan finished her tribute by asking everyone to raise a glass to Liz on December 31, 2012 – what would have been her 40th birthday. It was a goal she had hoped to reach.
The Rev Simon Rundell, said: ‘It’s clearly a tribute to the impact that Elizabeth had on the lives of so many of us, that this church is so full. Though she fought until the very end, the one thing that she made absolutely clear to me was that when she had the funeral, she had the works.’