Grand gypsy send-off for beloved Bonnie Collins
Four Rolls-Royces and a pink carriage formed the cortege for Bonnie Collins, who died from complications linked to epilepsy just a month away from her 29th birthday.
Friends and family gathered at the St Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in Attercliffe to pay their last respects to the “high-spirited” and “kind-hearted” young woman.
A pink carpet was laid out from the church to the street as a custom-made pink casket made its way to the waiting carriage, before a procession to Shiregreen Cemetery.
Her brother, William Collins Jr, said: “She was full of life, a really happy person. She was only 28 and died in her sleep. We are still coming to terms with it. It is hard for us to take it. It is devastating. It’s a big loss for us and it’s going to take a long time for us to get over what’s happened. It’s such a tragedy.”
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Bonnie had six brothers and three sisters and she was the eldest in the family. She also had another sister from her mother.
Her father, William Collins, split up with the mother when she was pregnant with Bonnie.
Bonnie then went to live with her mother, who died a month before her death. Her stepmother, Kathleen Collins, said her father has been devastated since the news broke.
“I don’t know how to put it in words. The dad, especially, is very devastated,” she said.
One of Bonnie’s aunts, Tina Collins, said despite coming from a big family, Bonnie was close to each and every one of her relatives.
“She was a very charming girl. And she was very close to us. I’m one of the aunts and she has eight aunts, eight uncles,” she said. “It’s a big family. She was a sporty, smart girl and always enjoyed her life. It’s a huge loss. We are one of a kind.”
Bonnie, who passed away at her grandfather’s house in Newcastle on June 29.