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Mourners say farewell to popular teacher

Zoe O'Kelly
Zoe O'Kelly

More than 100 mourners gathered to pay tribute to a popular and much-loved PE teacher. Former colleagues and pupils from St Simon Stock School, Maidstone, joined relatives of Zoe O’Kelly - also known as Miss Truchon - for a packed service in her memory at Aylesford Priory on Thursday .

Mrs O’Kelly, and her partner, Dave Roots, were found dead at their home in Belgrave Street, Eccles, on Christmas Day. They are thought to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Those at the service said Aylesford Priory’s St Simon Stock chapel had been filled with more than 120 people.

Mourners then moved on to Vinters Park Crematorium, Maidstone, where Mrs O Kelly’s funeral service was conducted by Father Wilfred McGreal, former Prior of Aylesford Priory.

Fr Wilfred told those gathered that Zoe was now in heaven and praying for them.

He also recalled the last words of St Thomas More, with which the saint looked forward to meeting merrily with his friends in heaven.

Outside, floral tributes to the teacher described her as “simply the best teacher ever”, while another called her “a loving friend, a loyal and supportive colleague.”

One read “To the Truchon family, Zoe’s humour and fun was very infectious and she will be sadly missed by all her friends.”

A former pupil said the day had been a fitting memorial to the much loved teacher, who had made a difference to so many people’s lives in her work as a teacher, counsellor and friend.

She added: “I knew Zoe as a counsellor as well, there are certainly people that are out there and still around today because of her work.”

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