A Civic Memorial Service was held this morning (Monday) to pay tribute to former Eastbourne mayor and politician Beryl Healy who died in a car accident earlier this month.
Hundreds of people attended the service at St Mary’s Parish Church in Old Town before a private funeral at Langney Cemetery.
Seventy-nine-year-old Mrs Healy died after being crushed by her car as she unloaded shopping on the driveway of her home in Pococks Road on the Rodmill estate on June 4.
She was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries but died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital the same day.
Her two sons, Ian and Bruce – and step son and step daughter John and Janis – led mourners for the service, organised by Eastbourne Borough Council.
Among those attending were politicians from all parties, Eastbourne mayor Janet Coles, the town’s MP Caroline Ansell, representatives fromn Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and the Samaritans, where Mrs Healy was a volunteer and fundraiser.
The service was conducted by Canon Tom Mendel and poems were read by Mrs Healy’s son Bruce and her long time friend and councillor Alan Shuttleworth.
Her son Ian Burchett welcomed everyone to the church and said his mother would have been touched and delighted to have seen so many people.
Eulogies were read by a friend of Mrs Healy during her days as a nursing sister in Eastbourne, Carole Matthews, Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt, who had known Mrs Healy for more than 40 years, and former Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who Mrs Healy vigorously campaigned for at election times.
A eulogy was also read by Nigel Knight, the director of Eastbourne Samaritans, who paid tribute to Mrs Healy’s dedication to the organisation.
Mrs Healy was a former Liberal Democrat councillor on both borough and county councils, was a past mayor and leader of Eastbourne Borough Council.
A prolific Liberal Democrat campaigner, she was at the front line of politics locally along with her late husband John Healy, also a councillor.