Mourners were reminded of the ‘beautiful smile’ of a young woman whose funeral took place this morning (Monday, December 19).
The death of Ellia Arathoon, 29, is the subject of a murder investigation with a 39-year- old man due to stand trial next July.
Friends and family gathered at Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, known as Our Lady’s Church, on Enfield Road, Ellesmere Port, less than a week before Christmas.
The service was followed by cremation at Chester Crematorium in Blacon.
Ellia’s coffin was covered in photographs showing her journey through life with the words ‘Mummy Ellia’ spelled out in the flowers within the hearse in reference to her eight-year-old son Reece.
She is also survived by parents Elaina and Lee and sister Emma. Her father Lee was among the pallbearers.
Tearful best friend Steph Griffiths, from Ellesmere Port, led the tributes during the service.
She told the congregation: “I stand here today feeling so blessed to say I was lucky enough to have my best friend, Ellia.
“You were the purest, most honest, form of person. You would burst into a room that would light up instantly. Everybody knew you had arrived. There was never a dull moment with you.
“Your infectious laugh, your beautiful smile, those piercing eyes, your humour, your stubbornness, your inner strength, your trust, your kindness - which was your only weakness - your vulnerability, your eagerness to please, your selflessness, your fierce loyalty, your outlook and zest for life are just a few of the qualities about you that I adored - but most of all your beautiful soul.
“I’ve seen a side to you that you didn’t let many see and that will never leave me. You were truly one of a kind and have left the biggest imprint on my heart.”
Sue Jones, nee Reaney, whose daughter was in Ellia’s class at Stanlaw Abbey Primary School and later mentored her as an outreach worker, also spoke during the service.
“She was such a pretty little girl. In my eyes, a real little Miss Pears,” said Mrs Jones, who explained that Miss Pears had been a national competition run by Lever Brothers to find the ‘prettiest little girl in the country’.
She concluded: “When you have the privilege of working with children and young people, they can make you laugh, they can make you cry and they can make you proud. Some children and young people take up a little piece of your heart. Sleep tight, Miss Pears.”
Parish priest Father Niall Mullaley said Ellia had been ‘suddenly and tragically taken from us’. He offered prayers asking for Ellia’s family and friends to be comforted.
He said the church was preparing for Christmas and while those gathered may not want to hear about Christmas, in a Christian sense, its significance was all about hope.
Father Mullaley continued: “So today obviously there is, naturally and properly, that sadness and grief but there’s a promise that where Ellia is, the person she is, she’s not lost but in God’s presence shining, a beautiful young woman always and that smile, beauty, will never pass away and will be with you always.”
Donations were offered to Claire House Children’s Hospice, Wirral.