A woman who died following a car accident was a perfect wife and mother, mourners at her funeral heard yesterday.
Hundreds of people packed into Second Comber Presbyterian Church to pay tribute to 35-year-old mother-of-two Lesley Scates, who died last Wednesday following a car crash in Comber earlier this month.
Wife to Garth, manager of Championship 1 side Bangor Football Club, Lesley was described as both a talented and hard-working individual.
Hundreds more crowded into the church complex where the service was relayed on speakers. Among the mourners was Northern Ireland international David Healy and his father Clifford.
Rev Roy Mackay told those gathered that Garth had described Lesley as a perfect wife – and a perfect mother to their two children Gabriella, five, and two-year-old Elliott.
The PE teacher at Nendrum College had a passion for hockey, mourners heard. She ran Stick2Hockey children’s coaching courses, having played at under-16 level for Ulster as well as enjoying spells with North Down and Belfast Harlequins.
While she had a “natural gift” for the sport, Rev Mackay said she also worked hard at it – something which formed a theme throughout her life, he added. “Her view on life was to work at everything as hard as possible, she had the attitude of being a team player,” he said.
The impact she made on children through her teaching was “only too evident”, Rev Mackay said, adding that it seemed a light had gone out in the family at Nendrum when Lesley passed away.
Poignantly, Lesley’s Girls’ Brigade officer certificate arrived in the post just last week, mourners heard.
Rev Mackay described her as having had a “vibrant personality” and being “sincere” with an “industrious, no-fuss” attitude to life.
“We want to pay our thoughts and our respects to all who knew her,” he said.
“Her life touched so many and rippled out, and the ripples continue.”
Garth and Lesley, who celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary in July this year, were married in the same church where Lesley’s funeral took place yesterday.
Referring to notes he had made about the couple for their wedding, Rev Mackay said it was as evident then, as now, that the couple had shared a “deep and sincere love”. Ahead of the burial at Comber Cemetery, those gathered were also asked to pray for Lesley’s parents Joan and Jim Ditchfield, brother Neil, Garth’s parents Norman and Mary, and his siblings Lloyd and Stephanie.