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Monday, Jan 25, 2021

Coffins lay side by side after mother and two sons died from Covid within days

Coffins lay side by side after mother and two sons died from Covid within days

A funeral has been held for three members of the same family who died from coronavirus within five days of each other.

Gladys Lewis, 74, and her sons Dean, 44, and Darren, 42, from Pentre, South Wales, died on October 29, October 30 and November 2 respectively.

Gladys and her younger son both lost their battles with the virus in intensive care at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, while Dean, a father of three, was found unresponsive at his home in nearby Treochy and pronounced dead shortly after.

All three had tested positive for Covid-19 and their death certificates state it as the cause.

The family called on people to ‘play their part’ in fighting the outbreak by following the rules as socially-distanced mourners wearing face masks lined the streets outside St Peter’s Church in Pentre, where the funeral could be heard through speakers.

They decided to hold the funerals at the same time so the three could be together.

Father Haydn England-Simon, who led the service, told the family: ‘You are right when you say that no-one should ever go through what you have been going through.’

He read family eulogies which said Gladys, a grandmother-of-13 and great-grand-mother-of-four, would ‘fight the world and win to make sure her children and grandchildren had what they needed and deserved’.


Three hearses carrying the trio were driven through Pentre before the service on Thursday


Gladys was described as an adoring wife, grandmother and great-grandmother


Darren, 42, (left) and Dean Lewis, 44, were avid football fans and were very close to Dean’s three sons


The three coffins were brought to the church the night before in line with Covid guidelines


Gladys’ husband David was helped out of the church after hearing eulogies to his late wife of 44 years


The family called on people to ‘play their part’ and stick to the rules to beat Covid


‘Gladys absolutely idolised her children, she protected Darren his entire life and loved Dean and Debbie no end.’

She and her widow David, 81, had been married for 44 years and ‘absolutely adored’ each other.

Her son Dean was described as a doting father with a ‘heart of gold’ who shared a love of football and gaming with his sons Danny, Declan and Darian.

He is survived by his wife Claire, 44, whom he met at school and began dating in 1991.

Darren, who lived with Down’s Syndrome, was also a keen football fan who loved being at the centre of attention at family occasions and would watch Wales and Cardiff City play with his nephews.


Floral tributes highlighted the sheer scale of the loss the family is having to endure


Dean is survived by his wife Claire and sons Danny, Declan and Darian


Darren remained close to his mum his whole life and was shielding with her before they passed away


His eulogy said: ‘It was Darren’s fighting spirit that drew people to him and made him who he was – the strong, determined character that was loved by so many.’

The family said Darren and Gladys, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, had been shielding, and that Dean only left the house once a week to shop for his parents.

Ten other members of the family also caught Covid-19, though it is not known how the virus started spreading among them.

Writing in the order of service, the family thanked members of the public who flooded them with supportive messages, particularly after they were targeted by online trolls: ‘As a family we cannot express how much your love, messages and support mean to us all.

‘We would like to say thank-you to each and every one of you. Special thanks to Father Haydn and to everyone who has supported the family during this difficult time.’

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