MOURNERS gathered today for the triple funeral of a mum and two sons who all died of coronavirus within five days of each other.
Gladys Lewis, 74, passed away at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, South Wales on October 29 – just days before her son Dean and Darren were killed by the bug.
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Gladys’ son Dean, 44, was found unresponsive at his home in nearby Treorchy the following day and pronounced dead a short time later.
And the family was dealt another devastating blow when his younger brother Darren, 42, died with the virus in ICU at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital on November 2
All three had tested positive for coronavirus before they died, and their death certificates state Covid-19 as the cause.
Mourners socially distanced and wore masks as they lined the streets outside St Peter’s Church in Pentre to listen to the funeral through loudspeakers.
After the service, the hearses carrying the three coffins drove through Pentre and were applauded by dozens of mourners outside the church.
Father Haydn England-Simon, who led the service, told the family: "You are right when you say that no-one should ever go through what you have been going through.”
He read touching eulogies to Mrs Lewis and her two sons, describing them as much-loved members of the family and local community.
Mrs Lewis had been married to husband David, 81, for 44 years after meeting him in Blackpool.
They "absolutely adored" each other and were keen dancers, the family said in the eulogy.
Father Haydn read: “Gladys absolutely idolised her children, she protected Darren his entire life and loved Dean and Debbie no end.”
Father-of-three Dean Lewis met wife Claire, 44, at school and they began dating in 1991.
Father Haydn read: "Dean had a heart of gold, very much like his mother, and would do anything for anyone.
"Dean will be missed by all who knew him."
His brother Darren Lewis, who had Down’s Syndrome, was also a keen footie fan and would watch Wales and Cardiff City with his nephews.
Sports-mad Darren was a passionate Arsenal fan and “relished every match”, the eulogy said.
It continued: "It was Darren's fighting spirit that drew people to him and made him who he was – the strong, determined character that was loved by so many.”
In the funeral, Father Haydn paid tribute to NHS staff who were working through the pandemic.
Writing in the order of service, the family said: "As a family we cannot express how much your love, messages and support mean to us all.
"We would like to say thank-you to each and every one of you. Special thanks to Father Haydn and to everyone who has supported the family during this difficult time."
The family also thanked Rob and Alex Thomas Brown, who supplied the sound system to allow for people to listen to the service outside the church.
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