THE FUNERAL of the much-loved ‘Flower Lady of Bromsgrove’ Kelly Godfrey took place at the town’s historic St John’s Church earlier today.
More than 250 people turned out to bid a fond farewell to the football fan and the service fittingly began with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
The vicar Rev Sue Humphries said everyone had a story and, although all those stories had to end, it was especially sad when it came to an abrupt and tragic end when it only seemed to be half-way through.
Kelly attended Catshill School and North Bromsgrove High School where, Rev Humphries said, she would always leave in her school uniform and return home in her tracksuit and trainers – showing what a big part sport played in her life.
“She was a larger than life character who would always do anything for anyone and was very close to her two friends Lisa and Annie with the trio being known as the ‘Three Stoodges’.”
Kelly was fantastic at football and ‘there were trophies everywhere’ from her success in the game.
Kelly loved camper vans and had a camper van collection. One of her ambitions, when she had regained good health, was to go travelling in a camper van.
The vicar added Kelly loved a night out but was not keen on dressing up. She did dress up for her friend Lisa’s wedding but was back in a tracksuit and trainers as soon as she could.
Kelly was close to her family. Her world was turned upside down with her mum’s terminal diagnosis and death.
And whenever she went out she and her dad Kevin would always say ‘I love you’ to each other and blew each other a kiss.
Kelly battled her health problems and mental health issues and, with the help of family and friends, managed to turn her life around for the better.
Her two friends Lisa and Annie paid tribute to their best friend, relaying anecdotes of their lives living together and their 18 to 30s holidays.
They spoke about Kelly’s love of animals and, especially her cats named Calvin after designer Calvin Klein and Jeremy (named after Jeremy Kyle), and her dove Charlie.
Kelly launched Marlbrook Flowers, which later became the Happy Bunch – a fitting name for the friendly atmosphere and service offered there and the camaraderie between the residents and local businesses which bought flowers from there.
A story about Kelly sleeping in the flower van one night and then wondering why her hay fever was so bad the next morning raised a few smiles among her many friends and family there.
Lisa and Annie’s tribute added: “We were all good friends who held each other close to our hearts. Goodnight sweetheart.”
Reflective music, featuring a montage of Kelly’s favourite songs, was played. Among the songs were Gangster’s Paradise, Human by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Sign of the Times by Harry Styles and This is Me from The Greatest Showman.
The poignant poem – Farewell to My Friends by Rabindranath Tagore, adapted by the vicar, was read out and, after prayers, a hymn, the commendation and blessing.
Rev Humphries said: “It is better to remember the way a person lived than the way they died.
“We must not dwell on Kelly’s death but remember her life.”
The coffin was carried out to In Dreams by Roy Orbison.
Before the funeral Kelly’s family and friends met at The Happy Bunch so her final journey could be from the flower stall – where she had had her happiest memories.
There the floral tributes were put on the coffin. After the service, at the burial in the North Bromsgrove Cemetery, the poem was read for a second time and doves were released in Kelly’s memory.