Michelle Smith farewelled in Perth
PHUKET: Family and friends of stabbed travel agent Michelle Smith farewelled her in a moving ceremony in Perth yesterday (June 30).
Sunday 1 July 2012, 11:30AM
Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park became a sea of red as a crowd of 500 donned the mother-of-three's favourite colour and bid her a tearful farewell, PerthNow reported.
There was standing room only in the chapel as the congregation remembered the 60-year-old for her special ability to "light up a room" with her fun-loving personality, zeal for life and penchant for parties and pina coladas.
Each carried a single red rose or gerbera which they laid atop her white casket, emblazoned with the words "Gone Shopping".
During yesterday's service, Reverend Robert Graue said Mrs Smith's untimely death had caused immense pain but the family had been humbled by the support from across the globe.
"The unjustness of this crime and senseless death has saddened our home state of Western Australia and the Australian nation at large. The people of Thailand share our grief and despair," Rev Graue was quoted by PerthNow as saying.
"I would urge all of us to put aside any feelings of anger or hostility towards the perpetrators of our loss and celebrate Michelle's life.'"
Speaking for the first time since the tragedy, two of her children, Chanelle and Cameron, paid tribute to their mother as an adventurous woman who "lived life to the full", packing more than 100 years worth of experiences into her 60.
A photo collage showed Mrs Smith as a keen traveller in exotic holiday spots, including outside India's Taj Mahal and the Egyptian pyramids.
"You inspired me so much in your life with your love of travel, how you see the good in people, your love of a social event and friends and how you love being the centre of attention," Cameron said.
"I think it's special that you brought me into this world and now on my birthday, 27 years and many memories later, we are saying goodbye...I love you."
Chanelle said she was heartbroken her mum would never share her wedding day or the birth of grandchildren.
"Not only are you the best mum I could ask for, you are also my closest friend, the sister I never had, a 24-hour counsellor and sometimes even a bank. We shared a mother-daughter bond that many would be envious of," she said.
"Life will never be the same again. But all I can do is promise you that I will live my life in a way that will make you proud. I promise to live each day to the full and to never have regrets and to look for the positives in all situations."
Husband Geoff said his wife would be remembered for her "larrikin nature" and as a wonderful mother with a "heart of gold".
After the service, mourners released 200 red helium balloons into the sunny sky as Mr Smith announced, laughing: "She's going overseas again!"