Funeral service remembers ‘cheeky’ Norfolk teen Andrew Oakley with fondness
17:12 01 March 2013
Moving tributes were paid to the “world’s greatest wind up merchant” as friends and family packed into a Diss church for a funeral service to celebrate the life of teenager Andrew Oakley.
A congregation of all age groups, including many of the 16-year-olds friends and fellow pupils from his Diss High School days, packed into the town’s St Mary’s Church to hear Canon Tony Billett, rector of Diss, describe how Andrew could be cheeky and daft, but also very loving towards his family and friends.
The keen rugby player, of Sunnyside, Diss was a passenger in the back of a Renault Kangoo van which was in collision with a yellow Ford Transit tipper van on the B1077 between Shelfanger and Winfarthing shortly after Christmas. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His family wanted the service to be a celebration of his life and songs by his favourite music artists were played throughout, including When I’m Gone by Enimem, which accompanied his coffin as it was carried into the church.
Choking back tears, his mother Rachel Oakley, 42, caused laughter when she joked about how Andrew’s aunt Felicity (Floss) Wright said something unrepeatable when Rachel phoned her to tell her Andrew had been born.
There was further laughter when she recalled having to take Andrew to hospital as a child because he had got a crown stuck up his nose, but he refused to get changed out of his Thomas the Tank Engine clothes.
The teen’s sister Charlotte read a moving poem to express her sorrow at his death and said although she used to argue with him, she would always love him.
Mrs Wright then remembered holding the baby Andrew in her arms and how she thought he would grow up to be cheeky, adding “he didn’t let me down.”
She also joked about how he used to love wearing wellington boots, even during the summer and how he once wore a pair of his mother’s wellies decorated in white hearts.
In between speeches, songs by R Kelly, Westlife, Jo Dee Messina, Whitney Houston and Eric Clapton were also played.
The congregation was also treated to dancers performing Gangnam Style by South Korean rapper Psy in the aisle while many of his friends wrote their memories of Andrew on a special white sheet which was set to be buried with the coffin.
At the end, the coffin was carried out to the sound of Beautiful by Eminem and a party to celebrate his life was held at Diss Cue Club.