Matthew and Stacy Keep carry baby Jessica to a waiting hearse after her funeral in Gatton.
Matthew and Stacy Keep carry baby Jessica to a waiting hearse after her funeral in Gatton. Rob Williams

Goodbye baby Jess

JESSICA Lily-Ann Keep’s beautiful big eyes and gorgeous smile will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of her family and friends.

Parents Matthew and Stacy Keep yesterday said a heartbreaking goodbye to their “little angel” who had given them so much pleasure in her short life.

Jessica, 23 months, was torn from her heavily pregnant mother’s arms when a raging torrent of water tore through their Grantham home on January 10.

Mr and Mrs Keep also lost their mothers, Pauline Magner and Dawn Radke, in the horrific flash flood.

Mr Keep yesterday told a service of about 250 at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Gatton: “Words cannot even begin to describe you Jess. We love you very much.”

The pair’s three other young children, Alexandra, Madison and Jacob, comforted their parents with kisses and cuddles throughout the service.

A moving slide-show of photographs capturing the close-knit family’s fondest memories played as the songs, You are so beautiful, by Joe Cocker and All good things come to an end by Nelly Furtado played in the background.

Father John Conway told mourners the tragedy of losing three family members had “shattered their lives ... turning it upside down in an instant”.

“Because of the love you share, your life will go on,” he said.

The Keep family sat less than a metre away from their youngest child as she lay in a beautifully decorated white coffin adorned with white lilies.

“Jessica will always be in our midst, so too your mothers – now they are in peace,” Fr Conway said.

Mr Keep’s mother, Mrs Magner was farewelled in a funeral service in Gatton last Friday, while a remembrance service for Mrs Keep’s mother Dawn Radke was held in conjunction with Jessica’s funeral yesterday.

Mr Keep thanked his mother-in-law Dawn, whose body has not yet been found, for all her assistance.

Mr and Mrs Keep along with some of their closest family members carried their daughter to a waiting hearse outside the church as Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton echoed throughout the Church.

Little Jessica, whose body was found 35kms away from her home last Sunday, was laid to rest in the Gatton Cemetery.



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