Hundreds gather to say goodbye to South Tyneside dad Luke Wilkinson

The funeral cortege of Luke Wilkinson arrives at South Tyneside Crematorium this morning

The funeral cortege of Luke Wilkinson arrives at South Tyneside Crematorium this morning

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Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to popular South Tyneside man Luke Wilkinson.

The father of two, originally from Marsden, South Shields, was flown home from Singapore after collapsing on holiday and was diagnosed with liver failure. He sadly passed away at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle earlier this month.

Luke Wilkinson.

Luke Wilkinson.

Family and friends crowded into South Shields Crematorium to remember Luke at a humanist service delivered by minister Ray Wood, which celebrated his life.

The service started with the song ‘Feel the Love’ by Rudimental, before Minister Wood delivered an eulogy of Luke’s past, describing him as someone who loved life.

“Luke loved life and he lived it to the full,” he said.

“He was a dedicated engineer and wherever he worked he was regarded as a selfless individual. He was an intelligent man, who had a thirst for knowledge and a mental capacity to absorb facts and figures.

“He had a logical mind and a wonderful sense of purpose.
“He had a sense of humour and a zest for life.”

Luke, who worked an engineering consultant in Kuala Lumpur, leaves behind his wife Di, 34, and their two children, Jude, five, and Finn, three.

Mrs Wilkinson paid tribute to her husband. She said: “I remember when I met him.
“The first thing he asked me was; ‘what do you want from life?’

“I said happiness. That’s all I ever wanted.

“It’s a hard thing to achieve, but with Luke it was easy.

“He made every single day happy.
“He always put me and the kids first.”

During the service, his brother Neil was applauded for reading out a letter from himself to Luke.

In it he said: “I think about you every day.”

Those gathered to pay their respects listened to Cheryl Cole song, ‘3 Words,’ while they contemplated their relationship with Luke.

In lieu of flowers, guests were asked to donate to the homeless charity Emmaus North East.