FAMILY and friends of 10-year-old Jack Johnstone have gathered to celebrate the life of “Mr Courage”.
Dozens of people packed into Charnock Richard Crematorium to pay their final respects to Jack, who died earlier this month following a battle with cystic fibrosis.
The youngster’s blue coffin had images of Peter Pan on the side, and the sun shone as it was carried in to “I Lived” by One Republic.
“He was such a larger-than-life character” said Malcolm Johnstone, paying tribute to his grandson.
“Mr Personality, that was Jack.”
The service included music and poems, and Mr Johnstone gave reflections and memories of Jack’s life.
He said the youngster enjoyed making cocktails for his mum, Tina, as well as making dens, and planning midnight feasts.
He said: “Jack loved to entertain and he loved to make people happy, and his smile was enough to do that.
“In almost every memory I’ve seen of Jack, it’s mentioned his smile.
“It lit up his face, it lit up a room and it lit up all of our lives.”
Malcolm said Jack loved technology and playing on the xBox, and said he was “obsessed” with Minecraft.
He said: “Jack was stubborn. That’s not a criticism, in fact I’m in awe of Jack’s stubbornness - it carried him through the toughest of times without complaint.”
Jack had suffered from cystic fibrosis and in November 2015 had had a lung transplant.
Sadly, his body rejected the transplant and his health deteriorated over the year before he died in his dad Kevin’s arms, surrounded by teddies, shortly before Christmas.
Malcolm described Jack as “Mr Courage” and “unique”, and said: “No one else battled for as long as he did.”
He shared stories and memories of Jack’s life, and also memories his school friends had shared.
He said: “One memory, which was anonymous and which I loved, was ‘just being Jack and getting on with it’.”
For him, Malcolm said his treasured memory was of Jack’s 10th birthday party, where he was laughing and playing and was able to blow out candles and blow up balloons.
He said: “I believed in miracles then, and I hope those memories will be in my heart forever.”
He added: “I could not stand here and pay tribute to Jack without paying tribute to his, quite frankly, astonishing parents.
“It’s really not hard to see where he got his courage from.”
You Are My Sunshine – which Tina used to sing to Jack – was played in the crematorium while his family and friends reflected on his life.
The final song, Jack’s favourite, was Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.