VIDEO: Colourful send-off for 'larger than life' man who inspired parents' campaigning for disabled people (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Colourful send-off for 'larger than life' Shipley man who inspired parents' campaigning for disabled people
Hundreds of people have celebrated the colourful life of a disabled man who inspired his parents to campaign for others needing help.
Maralyn and Alvin Adey were overwhelmed by the huge turnout of friends and family who gathered fittingly wearing brightly-coloured clothing at Nab Wood Crematorium, Shipley, today to say their farewells to their 29-year-old son Kristian Adey.
Kristian, who had Down’s Syndrome as well as heart and lung defects, died suddenly last month - only moments after playing air-guitar with his dad to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, one of his all-time rock favourites.
He was the inspiration behind his family's constant championing for people with disabilities and for setting up the charity Learning Disability Hospital Support and the city's Sing from The Heart Choir which will now become his legacy.
Kristian was carried to Nab Wood in a white horse-drawn carriage poignantly led by Ypres - the retired police horse who he loved to ride and who had also been on duty at the Queen Mother and Princess Diana's funerals.
His wicker coffin was topped by his riding vest and a police hat - he was "mad" about the police and The Bill and loved to act out scenarios using the call sign Zero 90, his other passions as well as acting, horses and music were photography, WWE Wrestling, radio presenting at BCB, acting and also worked behind the bar at Oddfellows Hall in Shipley.
"Everything he did was larger than life," said the Reverend Robin Gamble, who led the laughter and song-filled humanist service.
Every Tuesday Kristian went to ride at the Caring For Life near Cookridge, and his parents, of Wrose Road, Shipley, chose that charity and Sing From The Heart to receive donations in his memory.
Tributes from his support worker Steven Armatage and from as far away as Australia were paid to Kristian and his parents during the service which included a rousing chorus of For He's A Jolly Good Fellow.
Mr Gamble said: "Maralyn and Alvin have been beacons though this city for 30 years to people like them.
"They have shown people how to do it, no just how to cope and get through but how to have an amazing life with a child with difficulties. Today is as much about celebrating them as Kristian."
Another tribute from friends in Melbourne said: "Kristina was the centre of your universe, he could not have wanted for anything more in life. You showered him with endless and unconditional love which he gave off to everyone else."
After the Nab Wood thanksgiving there was a disco and karaoke party at Shipley & District Social Club.