Mourners gathered on Monday to pay their final respects to a retired ambulance control worker who has been described as a “compassionate, caring and wonderful person”.
Julie Alexander, from Antrim, passed away peacefully in hospital on Thursday, August 1 following a two-year battle with cancer.
The 45-year-old had worked for the NI Ambulance Service for over two decades, having started in North Control and then in Emergency Ambulance Control based in Knockbracken.
A service of thanksgiving for Julie’s life was held on Monday in Greystone Road Presbyterian Church, Antrim.
In a heartfelt tribute to her former colleague, ambulance control worker Karen McAbrey described the mother-of-one as a “kind girl who always made time for others”.
She told mourners: “A few short weeks ago I was honoured to give a speech at Julie’s retirement party. I did not think for one second I would be asked to write part of a tribute to her following her sudden death; an unimaginable thing to happen to such a beautiful person.
“Julie was a great control assistant and her friendly, easy going personality added to her professionalism, compassion and sympathetic ear.
“She had a great sense of humour and always enjoyed a good laugh.
“It didn’t matter what was going on around her, she was always able to do her job with a smile. She didn’t let the pressure get to her and there was no challenge she couldn’t face.
“Even when she had her own problems she would never burden you with them, but was always willing to listen to others and help where she could.”
Ms McAbrey said Julie’s “ambulance family” were shocked and saddened by her sudden passing, adding: “She was a wonderful person and we all miss her dearly.”
Another former colleague and lifelong friend of Julie’s, Adrian Steele, also paid warm tribute.
In a post on Facebook ahead of the funeral service, he wrote: “Julie had the most beautiful smile and a wicked sense of humour. She carried out her job with professionalism and compassion.
“She always made time to listen and often gave great advice. We can’t comprehend how this could have happened to our friend; a loss which has left a massive hole in our lives.”
Julie was buried in Belmont Cemetery. She leaves behind her husband Jason and son Cameron.