Final farwell to Ipswich schoolboy
THEY sat together, bonded by the grief of losing a son, a brother and a friend – yet united in the desire to bid him a fond farewell. For the hundreds of mourners who packed St Mary at Stoke Church in Ipswich, the funeral of schoolboy Dean Bloomfield was a chance to remember a life cut tragically short.
THEY sat together, bonded by the grief of losing a son, a brother and a friend – yet united in the desire to bid him a fond farewell.
For the hundreds of mourners who packed St Mary at Stoke Church in Ipswich, the funeral of schoolboy Dean Bloomfield was a chance to remember a life cut tragically short.
Dean, 15, a pupil at the town's Stoke High School, was killed after being hit by a car as he walked with his best friend Scott Towler in Fore Hamlet on May 30.
His coffin arrived at the church, in Belstead Road, shortly before 1pm yesterday, as people lined the road outside, heads bowed.
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As it was carried into the church on the shoulders of four pallbearers, the melody of the Enrique Iglesias song 'Hero' could be heard from inside.
Walking behind, Dean's parents, Sharon and Dennis, his brother Daniel, 18, and sisters Maria, 21, and Emma, 10, led the procession into church.
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Among the mourners were around 100 of Dean's school friends, many still dressed in their white and black uniforms, several carrying flowers which they laid on the grass outside.
The service was relayed to the mourners outside by a loudspeaker and began with a reading from St John's Gospel by the Rev Ian Morgan, church rector.
Following a prayer, Dean's father Dennis, supported by his brother Les, paid tribute to his popular and much-loved son.
His voice tinged with grief, Mr Bloomfield said: "Sharon and I sometimes thought that Dean got the rough end of the stick.
"I recall that the main reason he used to get detention at school was for not wearing appropriate footwear.
"We would say to him in the morning that he had his trainers on, and he would tell us he had a pair of shoes in his locker at school, which he would put on when he got there – but then he would come home with a detention slip.
"When his sister Maria went up to the school to clear out his locker, there they were – three pairs of shoes. They were there all along.
"He was a character and I think he made most people at the school smile. He spoke with affection of his teachers.
"God bless you Dean."
Rev Morgan then paid his own tribute to the fun-loving teenager, remembering him as a 'boundary pusher', who never bore a grudge.
He added: "His smile had one of three effects – he made you feel fabulous, or wonder what it was he wanted, or, if you were one of his teachers, it made you wonder what he had done.
"He clearly had a deep effect on people. He had no great ambitions for himself, save for the most important one of all – just to be happy.
"That was his gift. If he chose to, he could make people happy. We are here because he means something to us, and he will continue to do so.
"Wherever you are, he will live on with us. Most importantly, when you think of Dean, remember him just as his father did – smiling, and happy for the gift of a remarkable son of whom he was proud."
One of Dean's favourite songs, 'The World's Greatest', by R Kelly, was played, before prayers were said for the youngster and his family, along with Scott Towler and his family.
Many of the congregation leaving the church held hands or hugged each other, some wiped away tears and some smiled as they remembered Dean.
His family then made the short journey to the Ipswich Crematorium's West Chapel, where they bid a final farewell to their beloved son.
n A man accused of the double manslaughter of Scott Towler and Dean Bloomfield is due in court on August 15. Zulfcar Ali, 33, of Boyton Road, Ipswich, is due to enter his pleas to the charges at Ipswich Crown Court on that date.