Hundreds of mourners packed a Hartlepool church to celebrate the life of one of it’s best-loved women.
A funeral service was held at St Patrick’s RC Church in the town in honour of Wendy McLoughlin, who dedicated more than 40 years to helping families in Hartlepool.
Wendy, a mum-of-two, died earlier this month at the age of 71 after a ten-year battle with cancer.
The congretation at the service, which was led by Father Jim Angus, heard how despite her illness, Wendy never failed to put on a brave on and continue helping others.
Among the dignitaries who attened the service of celebration was Mayor of Hartlepool, Coun Rob Cook, who spoke fondly of Wendy saying how he never knew how she managed to fit all her commitments in.
He said: “She did everything with a smile on her face.
“Wendy, you will be sorely missed, not only by your family, but by the many people whose lives you touched with such love and affection.”
The eulogy was given by Pete Gowland, a well known voluntary figure in the town, who said it was when Wendy’s second daughter, Sharon, was born in 1971 with special needs that she became aware of the lack of support for families and decided to do something about it.
He said: “It was then Wendy started on an inspiring and dedicated journey to improve the lives of other people.”
She set up Hartlepool Opportunity Playgroup, aimed at children with special needs, then Hartlepool Toy Libray and Playbus, which developed into what it is today, Hartlepool Families First.
Wendy went on to become a magistrate and was honoured with the MBE and also given the honour of Freeman of the Borough of Hartlepool.
Pete said: “Wendy had an abundance of resilience and battled everything that life had to throw at her.
“She loved people and people loved her. She was an amazing lady who achieved so much in her 71 years.”
Throughout the service there was also a poem read, which had been written for Wendy to celebrate her 70th birthday, and a song was sung, where the words had been rewritten by her husband John in honour of her wife.
The service was followed by cremation at Stranton Grange Crematorium.