Hundreds attend funeral for Washington man found in River Wear
Hundreds of mourners packed into Durham Crematorium to pay tribute to tragic Ross Irwin, who died the day before Christmas.
The 22-year-old’s body was found in the River Wear at Fatfield, Washington, on Christmas Eve.
Ross, who worked at the Child Benefit Centre in Washington, had been on a night out. It is believed he fell into the water.
Dozens of people - including many of dad Dave’s colleagues from Tyne and Wear Fire Service - packed into the chapel, while many more had to listen in the corridor and outside.
The coffin - decorated with images from Ross’ beloved Marvel superhero comics and with a Yellow Submarine floral tribute- arrived to the sound of The Beatles performing With a Little Help from my Friends and the service also included the band’s Follow the Sun, before concluding with Month Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
Celebrant Chris May told the congregation it was important to celebrate Ross’ life and the many ways he had touched family and friends.
“We must celebrate the handsome, warm, funny, popular lad who loved life,” he said.
“A lad who never, never complained, despite facing adversity all his life.
“We must remember the sunshine and the abundant joy he brought. He has woven an indelible mark into the fabric of all your lives.”
The gathering heard of Ross’ love of music, video games and comics and the house parties - or ‘seshs’ - he shared with friends.
Lifelong friend Louis Warrington spoke of Ross’ love of socialising with his mates: “He was the life and soul of the party. Ross was always ready for a good time.
“He always took things as they came and never worried about the future. He would always say, ‘I will let future Ross deal with that.’
And he told the congregation Ross, who had cerebral palsy, would not want them to be sad: “Ross would want all of you to take his passing and turn it into strength.”
College friend Andrew Warris said Ross had been ‘the kindest, most gentle-hearted person you could meet. If you looked for the happiest face in the class, you would be sure to find Ross.
“Ross was always there for me through good times and bad.
“Keep the sesh going, Ross, and we will join you some day.”
*Ross’ family would like to thank Andrew Grey Funeral Directors for their help and support.