Funeral for schoolboy who was 'kind and laughed a lot'

The funeral for a Dungannon boy who "put a smile on our faces" will take place later today in the Tyrone town.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 1:09 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:11 am
Jack Stafford

Fourteen-year-old Jack Stafford, from Old Eglish Road, who died suddenly on Tuesday, will be buried following a service in the local Baptist Church.Many of his fellow pupils at The Royal School Dungannon are expected to attend the funeral.The headmaster Dr David Burnett has paid tribute to the popular Year 10 pupil.In a post on the school's website page, he said Jack was "greatly appreciated by his peers.""Jack was a quiet boy who enjoyed working with computers and had a flair for creating outstanding multimedia presentations which entertained fellow pupils and teachers alike," he said."He was a popular member of his form class with a close circle of friends who remember his sense of humour and kind, thoughtful demeanour."Indeed, as staff and pupils have been talking to one another and remembering Jack, it is clear that Jack's consideration of others was obvious to all who met him and also greatly appreciated by his peers."He was the boy who, in the words of one pupil, 'was kind and laughed a lot' and for another, 'put a smile on our faces'."His quirky sense of humour stood out, with one pupil remembering the time when Jack changed everyone's computer screen backgrounds to show the Mario computer game character and another recalling his ability to hide the sixth formers' rugby ball and leave them scratching their head."The school principal also described how Jack's interest in music saw him spend lunchtimes in the music studio making videos, regarded by his peers as 'the highlight of our classes'.Dr Burnett said the "impact of Jack's loss on the RSD community will be very great indeed"."We have a range of support services in school and these will continue in the days ahead," he added. Jack was a son of Nigel and Heather and brother of Stuart, Suzanne, Michelle and Debbie. The family have asked for donations, in lieu of flowers, to the Niamh Louise Foundation, a Dungannon-based charity which raises awareness of suicide.