Heartbroken family and friends united to say a final farewell to a devoted South Tyneside dad killed in a road crash.
Lee Gibson had been travelling by motorbike with friends to The International Isle of Man TT Race meeting when he came off the machine on the A66 in Cumbria.
He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene on Tuesday, June 6.
In an emotional tribute to the 30-year-old, from Jarrow, crowds of mourners, wearing yellow, gathered today at South Shields Crematorium to pay their respects to the much-loved mechanic.
As the rain fell, the funeral cortege entered the grounds, in front walked his partner Elaine Rea and the couple’s young son Smith.
Behind them, a Subaru Impreza car that Lee, who was known as ‘Gippa’ to his friends, had spent countless hours building from scratch. His efforts saw the vehicle featured in a specialist magazine.
He loved his work. He had a natural passion and aptitude for mechanics and engines.Humanist Minister
It was a poignant image showing what was important in Lee’s life - his partner, his son and cars.
And as the sound of ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ played in the background, Lee was carried into the crematorium where a service by humanist minster Ian Hunter took place.
Described by his family as an “outdoor lad” he always had a passion for cars and was close to his family and friends.
It was this passion which led him to open up his own garage LG MOT in Boldon.
In a tribute by his friend Vinnie, he told how they were “always up to mischief” and “always had a daft laugh one way or another.”
The service heard Lee was a “happy lad and always smiling - even when he went to work.
“He loved his work. He had a natural passion and aptitude for mechanics and engines.”
He had launched Smith Independent Clothing and had big plans to clean up the fishing lakes behind the Lakeside pub after growing concerned at the state they were in.
Lee had a passion for fishing since he was young and would often go to the lakes with his dad.
His family told how he was “dedicated, funny, hardworking and always smiling.
“That he was creative and entrepreneurial, inspired and inspirational.
“He always had something on the go. He was a great loyal friend.
“Life was rich for Lee. It was a mix of engines and creative ideas.
“He was loved to bits and what’s more, he was loved back.”
As ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day played, those who had gathered were given time with their own thoughts and to remember Lee.
Lee was killed as he made his way along the A66 in Cumbria. His family believe Lee’s BMW bike was caught by a freak gust of wind near Stainmore Cafe as he travelled to the Isle of Mann.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he was unable to be saved.
In a final tribute to the man who had touched so many lives with his love of life and knowledge of cars, ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa - known for its connection with action film Fast and Furious 7 - was played.
A collection was held for the Great North Air Ambulance in Lee’s name.