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Final farewell to a loving family man

PUBLISHED: 12:35 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:28 05 July 2010

ALWAYS ON OUR MINDS: Mourners file into the crematorium for John Vry's funeral.

ALWAYS ON OUR MINDS: Mourners file into the crematorium for John Vry's funeral.

THEY were tragically denied the chance to spend their last Christmas together, but yesterday the family of Lowestoft man John Vry were finally allowed to say an emotional goodbye at his funeral.

THEY were tragically denied the chance to spend their last Christmas together, but yesterday the family of Lowestoft man John Vry were finally allowed to say an emotional goodbye at his funeral.

Mr Vry, who was suffering from terminal cancer, died following an alleged attack near his home on December 3 and his family had to endure an agonising wait to say their final farewells as investigations continued.

But on Thursday the circumstances surrounding the 55-year-old's death were given only brief mention as family and friends gathered at Gorleston Crematorium to pay homage to the former electrician and newsagent.

The humanist service started with Mr Vry's coffin being brought in with the song The Wanderer playing and mourners left the crematorium listening to Elvis Presley's Always on my Mind.

In between, Mr Vry's life was remembered from when he met his wife Valerie, 51, until his final few months and his brave battle against bowel cancer.

His two daughters and his son, all aged in their 20s, also penned an emotional tribute, which was read out during the service.

They said: “Dad was a great father. It's hard to lose someone who has always been there and who you knew, no matter what, would always be there to fight in your corner. That was the type of man that dad was; he loved totally and was loved totally in return.

“You could always count on him for the little things that count - to provide dinner, to attempt to help with homework and to make you laugh at one of his very bad jokes. Not at the joke, mind you, but at the fact that it was so bad.

“We had our ups and downs, but no matter what, if you needed him, dad would come through. His loss has left a gap that will never be filled and we will mourn him for the rest of our lives - a loving father and a caring husband. Dad, we'll miss you.”

Speaking the day before the funeral, daughter Wendy Vry, 24, said the funeral was an important step for the family.

“Mum felt she couldn't get on with her life until she had the chance to say goodbye,” she added.

Mr Vry was found with head injuries in an alleyway, off London Road South, Lowestoft, after going out to buy a packet of cigars and some chips. He was taken to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, where he died the following day.

He had been told last June that he may have only up to six months to live, but was still leading an active life and looking forward to spending a final Christmas with his loving family.

James Killingback, 22, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft, and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged with Mr Vry's murder and are due to next appear at Ipswich Crown Court on March 27.

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