OH DANNY BOY
By EMMA CORNFORD
AS the bell of Christ Church Cathedral tolled yesterday marking the final departure of Daniel Mitchell, the hundreds of people who packed the church for his funeral each had their own memories.
A caring and loyal son, brother, partner and friend, Daniel, 23, was remembered as a man who lived life to the fullest and had a real sense of humour.
"He was a real Clarence Valley boy," said his father, Phil Mitchell, who delivered one of the eulogies.
"My time with Dan was always engaging, loving and mixed with humour and comradery. We truly enjoyed hanging out together as mates. I am left with countless memories of totally enjoyable events and moments that we shared as father and son, and also as the best of mates."
Daniel, who died on May 19, two days after being injured in a car accident in Grafton, spent his first seven years in the Richmond Ranges before moving to Grafton where he attended Grafton High.
He was a surfer who loved baked dinners, motorbike rides and even a shower after a hard day's work as an apprentice carpenter.
The impact of Daniel's life was evident by the number of people who turned out to say goodbye.
"The huge number of people here just speaks about how many people cared for him and how many people he cared for as well," Mr Mitchell said after the service.
"He loved the Valley so much. He really did."
During the eulogy, Mr Mitchell detailed his son's love of nature and his favourite places ? particularly Minnie Water and Flat Rock.
In a tribute to Daniel, 20 people spent five days helping to paint his coffin, colourfully depicting those spots and incorporating elements of his favourite music and the words 'whatever' ? one of his favourite sayings.
Daniel's stepmother, Yvonne Mitchell, also read a eulogy, describing him as a 'unique personality'.
"He could find something amazing in anything and everything," she said.
"We've had the pleasure of watching him turn into a beautiful young man. Sure, he wasn't perfect, but he had a heart of gold.
"Dan was there for me when I was sick late last year ? he stayed by my side, he held my hand. I am now holding yours Dan, and you will always be close by."