A TRAGIC mother whose disappearance sparked a major police search received a final farewell from her loving family yesterday.
The body of Libby McVey was found on a beach near North Berwick, East Lothian, on March 31, just hours after her husband and daughter made a heartfelt appeal for information on national television.
Yesterday her husband Mike carried his own wife’s coffin into Our Lady of Loretto & St Michael Archangel Church in Musselburgh, where his son Mark and daughter Lynsey had been joined by around 250 friends and family.
Canon Joseph McMullan told the congregation that the 50-year-old had set an example to all with her “kindness” and “goodness”.
He said that the loss of the churchgoing community figure had affected everyone in the parish, but asked them not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding her death.
He said: “Libby’s death was a terrible loss to us all.
“Just the sheer number of people that have come here today has shown the kind of woman that Libby McVey was.
“There has been talk and speculation following Libby’s death.
“We don’t know the circumstances and we cannot speculate.
“But we do know the goodness of Libby McVey. Perhaps the only person who knows how good she was is herself.
“One of the very good things is that so many people here gathered to support all of the family.
“The prayers of the people of this parish have been with the family since this tragedy occurred.”
Canon McMullan said throughout her life Libby had been a churchgoer, and thanked her for her work surrounding the church, which included cleaning it herself, as well as supporting its youngsters.
He said: “For all of us at this parish there was something special about her.
“The number of people who saw the goodness of a person in an ordinary job.
“One thing we know about Libby was her goodness, it was there for all to see.
“It wasn’t the things that she did that marked her out, it was the kindness and the sheer generosity that she gave out.
“Memories are very precious, thankfully we have many of Libby McVey.”
Canon McMullan told the congregation that Libby, originally from Stewarton, East Ayrshire, had met her future husband Mike while she was training for a position at a national savings bank.
He said that she had been a hard worker throughout her life, including while she was bringing up her children and later at East Lothian Council.
In a statement the family said: “Although she is no longer with us, we are left with fantastic memories of Libby, whose fun-loving nature and zest for life was an inspiration to all of us.
”She was a loving wife and mother, and a great friend to all who knew her. She will be sadly missed.”
Passages from the books of Isaiah and John were read out to the congregation, after which they sang the hymn You Raise Me Up.
Libby’s coffin was carried by her husband of 29-years and five other pallbearers to the hearse, ahead of Libby’s tearful daughter Lynsey, before being taken to the nearby Seafield Crematorium.
In a tribute to Libby, Fiona White wrote on behalf of her colleagues at East Lothian Council: “We will always miss you and keep you in our hearts.”
On the order of service was a poem titled “Libby the Legend” written by a family friend, which described happy memories of parties, picnics, and holidays with her family and friends.
She is survived by son Mark, daughter Lynsey, husband Mike, mum Irene, brother Alan and sister-in-law Fiona.