Friends and family say farewell to Jennifer Ryan, 57

York Press: Friends and family at the funeral of Jennifer Ryan Friends and family at the funeral of Jennifer Ryan

FRIENDS and family of Jennifer Ryan have gathered to say goodbye to “a warm, compassionate and vibrant woman”, who died of cancer at the age of 57.

A wicker casket was brought into St Elverilda’s church in Nether Poppleton to Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, along with pink and white floral tributes which read “Sweetpea”, “Mum” and “Nana”.

The congregation were all asked to wear pink to the service, in tribute to York Breast Cancer Care, and Mrs Ryan’s family arrived at the church yesterday in a pink stretch limousine.

The Rev Jeremy Sylvester read a statement on behalf of Mrs Ryan’s family, including her husband of 39 years Matthew, daughters Trudy, Malissa, Angela and Bernadette, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

They said: “Jennifer was a warm, compassionate and vibrant woman who always went out of her way to help others, no matter what. She was a proud and dignified woman who had a passion for life. She had a wonderful sense of humour which enamoured her to everyone she came in contact with.

“Her grandchildren were her life and she would always do anything for them, no matter how big or small. Jennifer also became her daughters’ best friend, advisor and confidante. Her greatest quality was to make the best of everything and face problems head on.”

Mrs Ryan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and underwent treatment before going into remission. However, in 2011, doctors discovered another lump in her neck, and the cancer had returned.

The family statement said: “She was a proud woman who believed there was no obstacle that couldn’t be overcome. Over the past six years, Jennifer had breast cancer and then secondary cancer returned, which she fought with such bravery and courage and never lost the will even when everyone around her crumbled.

“She used to say ‘it will be fine’, and didn’t get upset. I don’t know how we will all cope without her. It leaves a massive hole in our lives but I’m sure we will all find the strength from things she taught us to carry on.”

Collections were made in memory of Mrs Ryan, which would be donated to York Breast Cancer Care.

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