October 5th 1962 - April 13th 2004
Tuesday April 20th 2004
St Peters Church, Hever,Kent
The Order of Service for Caron's funeral.
Former principal pays tribute to Caron
FORMER Principal of Methodist College, Belfast, Dr James Kincade, who lives in Hillsborough, has paid tribute to Caron who was a former pupil of the school.
She attended Harmony Hill Primary School before going on to Fullerton House and Methodist College.
Dr Kincade said: "I remember a girl of great charm. She charmed her friends and staff, sometimes in order not to have to do any work.
"She was highly intelligent, extremely independent and from quite early on she wanted to go into television because her mother and father were both in television. She had her mind set on that.
"Her mother was keen that Caron should do a degree even though she wasn't that keen on it. Nevertheless she was very successful and got a very good degree. She was a very, very lovely girl and this is a devastating blow."
Friends pay tribute to Hillsborough's 'beautiful angel'
REPORTS By JULIE SPENCE
ONE of Hillsborough's most famous and beloved daughters was laid to rest at Hever Castle in Kent this week.
Family and friends gathered at St Peter's Church to say their final farewell to Caron Keating, who lost a seven-year battle with breast cancer when she passed away at her mother's home in Sevenoaks, Kent last Tuesday.
Moving tributes were paid to the television presenter, who touched the lives of everyone she met. In a letter, which was read out by Caron's husband Russ, Gloria Hunniford, who was too emotional to speak, spoke of the joy and privilege it was to have Caron as her "most precious and loving daughter."
The letter went on to say: "You showered endless love and joy on our lives and brought light and rainbows to us daily.
"Watching you bravely battle with cancer has taught me so much about positiveness, tenacity, dignity, spiritual growth and integrity. You have been a total inspiration, not only to your family but to all of those whose lives you have touched."
Local lady, Lydia Bremner, was amongst the mourners on Tuesday and she has shared her own personal memories of Caron and paid tribute to her "beautiful and caring" spirit.
Lydia, who lived next door to Caron in Hillsborough as she was growing up, has been a friend of the family for many years and spoke with pride of the caring, out-going girl who grew up to be such a beautiful women.
"Gloria and Don moved with their children next door to us on the Culcavy Road in Hillsborough and we have been very close ever since," explained Lydia.
"Caron lived in Hillsborough until she went to university in England but she always came home at the weekend and was very close to her father, who she phoned everyday. He was so proud of her and watched her every time she was on television.
"As a child Caron was absolutely beautiful. She was always very happy and caring and very sensitive. She was also very glamorous and had a really out-going personality.
"Many people don't appreciate just how intelligent she was. She got a very high score in her 11+ and was even interviewed by Mensa, as far as I can remember. She was very, very artistic as well and she used to come into the house and sit and paint all day. When she was in Australia she painted Gloria a beautiful painting for Mother's Day this year."
Lydia shared some of her favourite memories of Caron as a young lady.
"Caron loved nothing more after school than to go into Belfast and go to the second hand clothes shops. She would come home with the most outrageous outfits. She also loved to sit in the Linenhall Library for hours and hours reading books.
"From a very young age she used to go into work with her father, who was a cameraman and producer, and although she could have done anything she always wanted to go into television. Gloria and Don were both very, very proud of her."
A friend of Caron's, who went to Harmony Hill Primary School with her, remembers how Caron always managed to steal the show.
Dianne Johnson said: "I was always a bit jealous of Caron because she got to be the Fairy Princess in the school play. She did run off the stage when the Prince tried to kiss her though!"
Lydia also remembers that Caron was a very spiritual person.
She said: "Caron always believed in angels. She used to say that when you found a white feather, that meant your guardian angel was with you." Echoing these sentiments, Gloria Hunniford said in her moving letter to Caron at the funeral: "You always did believe in angels and now you are one of God's brightest and most beautiful, so fly freely, my darling Caron, in your release from pain and know that every second I will carry you in my heart."
A host of celebrities turned out to pay their final respects to Caron, including Richard Madeley, a pall bearer at the funeral, Cilla Black, Anthea Turner, John Leslie and Cliff Richard, who paid his own tribute by singing 'Miss You Nights.'
The moving and emotional ceremony was concluded with a private committal in the churchyard.