A NEWPORT mother has paid a heartfelt tribute to the people who came out in their hundreds last week to give her late daughter a “perfect princess funeral”.

Popular Newport 15-year-old Katelyn Lazare, who competed monthly with Le Clare’s School of Dance, passed away suddenly last month from bacterial meningitis.


She has been described by her mother, melanie Fisher, as “a selfless young lady who was extremely funny, slightly crazy but had a heart of gold”.

Katelyn’s send-off, on January 16, was attended by more than 400 people.

Miss Fisher said: “It was a perfect princess funeral.

“St Michael’s Church was jammed full of people. There were people in the courtyard and in the street.”

Katelyn made her final journey in a bespoke velvet crush and silver glittered coffin, designed to mirror her bedroom.


Her coffin was transported by horse-drawn carriage complete with bright pink feather head dresses for the horses - Katelyn’s favourite colour to have as a dancing costume.

The service was led by Father Robert James who also taught R.E at St Joseph’s High School which Katelyn attended.

Katelyn’s great grandfather Alan Huxtable gave a reading from the Old Testament and two emotional eulogies. Miss Fisher was the author of one, the other written by Katelyn’s father Rennie Lazare.

Holly Holyoake, a classical singer from Dyffryn, performed as Katelyn arrived and departed from the church.

Miss Fisher said: “She had the voice of an angel.

“She worked hard with me to make sure the songs were perfect.”

Following the burial at St Woolos Cemetery the family released white doves to symbolise setting Katelyn free.


Lovey Dovey provided the doves and the release was organised by Katelyn’s Nanny Chris.

The wake was held in the marquee at Rodney Parade which had been specially decorated in the style of the Sweet 16 Miss Fisher had planned for her daughter’s birthday in October.

MH Designer Décor, Weddings by Tina Louise and the Rodney Parade events team all contributed to the event with chair covers, pink bows and an impressive central display.


Katelyn’s Nanny Julie and Nanny Rosie provided photographs of Katelyn at different ages and balloons for the children to release outside.

Miss Fisher said: “There were so many fantastic volunteers who helped set up the room the night before.”

Chip shop Gibbos and car firm Leeway Motor Company donated all of the food.

“It was a delicious spread,” said Miss Fisher.

Characters N Co and Looney Tunez, both companies Katelyn supported, provided a projector which displayed images from throughout Katelyn’s life. They also provided a DJ system set up which quietly played a handful of songs which were important to Katelyn.

Miss Fisher said: “I am extremely grateful for everyone’s help and support.

“So many have provided gifts, donated or raised funds.


“Tracey Needham and dance teacher Rebecca Cataldo jumped straight on the ball with a Just Giving page to help fund Katelyn’s funeral and headstone.”

The page smashed its target within hours. Miss Fisher said without this help she would have not been able to give Katelyn the send-off she deserved.

She continued: “I would also like to thank T.J Davies Funeral Directors for their care and compassion. Their professionalism was above and beyond.

“We will be forever thankful to everyone who helped create this beautiful day for Katelyn.”