A heartbreaking farewell to popular Gympie teen Rykah Burr was held at the Cats Oval on Friday, April 23.
A heartbreaking farewell to popular Gympie teen Rykah Burr was held at the Cats Oval on Friday, April 23.

Sea of navy and white as loved ones farewell ‘perfect son’

A crowd gathered in a sea of navy and white to farewell beloved 18-year-old, Rykah Burr, who died earlier this month following a tragic car crash at Wolvi, which also took the life of Rykah's mate Zac Moye.

The funeral was held at the Gympie Cat's oval on Friday, April 23, where friends, family and fellow teammates paid their respects to the popular young footballer.

First to speak was Rykah's uncle Maurice, who gave the eulogy and reflected on his close relationship with Rykah and the impact he had on everyone he met.

Everyone was encouraged to wear white and navy to symbolise the Gympie Cats and the Geelong Cats, Rykah Burr's two favourite teams.
Everyone was encouraged to wear white and navy to symbolise the Gympie Cats and the Geelong Cats, Rykah Burr's two favourite teams.

"He had a lot of heart," Maurice said.

"On a hot day, I loved to chase him down with an ice cold Powerade, and just to see that look of appreciation and love on his face, as he said 'thanks uncle' and would give me a big man hug, no matter who was around."

Maurice described a loving, family orientated boy who was passionate about AFL from a young age.

Maurice speaking at Rykah Burr's Funeral at Gympie on Friday.
Maurice speaking at Rykah Burr's Funeral at Gympie on Friday.

In his more recent years, Rykah started an apprenticeship as a carpenter and said his dream was to build his mother a house on the hill.

"He was much loved, and had a lot of love to give," Rykah's uncle said.

"He had a lot more to offer this world, and was taken much too soon."

TAKEN TOO SOON: Gympie teen Rykah Burr with his siblings. Photo: Gabrielle Wallace.
TAKEN TOO SOON: Gympie teen Rykah Burr with his siblings. Photo: Gabrielle Wallace.

Rykah's mother Nicole also spoke, telling the crowd how he was a "perfect" son and her best friend.

"I was always told the biggest loss anyone can go through is losing a child, and that was my biggest fear," Nicole said.

"Now here I am, living my biggest fear and I am terrified at the thought of going through the rest of my life without Rykah here by our side.

"I want you to know, that I love you more than anything I've ever loved in my entire life."

The former James Nash student was a role model to his siblings and cousins and Nicole said he always looked after his family.

"You would have been the best uncle, the best husband and the best dad ... the type of dad you always wished you had," she said.

"Thank you for being the man of the house, my rock, my saving grace.

"I refuse to say goodbye to you, because I am never going to let you go."

Rykah Burr's sister Eternity and his mother Nicole both spoke at the funeral.
Rykah Burr's sister Eternity and his mother Nicole both spoke at the funeral.

Rykah's older sister Eternity presented a heartfelt speech where she expressed her close bond with her brother and the last moments she spent with him.

"He was my best friend, my partner in crime, my twin that was born 22 months after me, he was my favourite person in the whole world," Eternity said.

"I spent those few days in the hospital by his side, holding his hand.

"I can't fathom what it's going to be like living my life without him.

Rykah Burr's younger brother reading his poem at the funeral.
Rykah Burr's younger brother reading his poem at the funeral.

Rykah's youngest brother also shared a poem, where he spoke about how much he idolised his older brother and Rykah's best friends also shared their memories.

"I'll miss him forever, but thank you and I love you mate," one friend said.

"I have a million memories of Rykah, ten years of friendship cut short," another said.

On the night of the accident that claimed Rykah's life, he was travelling to pick up another friend who needed support, Rykah's uncle shared.

"He was always so positive to everyone around him, he was a mate that felt like family," one of Rykah's friends said.

At the conclusion of the funeral, everyone formed two rows for the car to drive between and it did a final lap of the oval to the sound of the siren.

Rykah Burr's funeral at Gympie.
Rykah Burr's funeral at Gympie.