Father and son who died within days of each other from Covid are laid to rest together

Mourners turned out to pay their respects to a father and son who tragically died within days of each other from Covid.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 5:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 10:34 am

Relatives, friends and members of the public turned out at Tynemouth Crematorium on Tuesday to pay their respects and to celebrate the lives of Alastair Rennie and his son Mark, both from Whitley Bay.

Alastair, who was 82, had previous health problems and died on April 13 while MS-sufferer Mark, who was 47 and had been bed-bound for ten years, passed away on April 21.

Alastair had been admitted to North Tyneside General Hospital, in North Shields, for bowel issues and it was while he was in hospital that his daughter Elaine believes he contracted the virus.

The funeral procession of Alastair and son Mark Rennie arrives at Tynemouth Crematorium.

Elaine, from Grindon, Sunderland, was keen to give the pair the best possible send off.

She said: “I hope to give them both the best send off possible.

"I want to add to the memory of them. I want to do the last thing I can for them now.

"I was so shocked at how this all happened – I was well-prepared to be caring for them both for years.

Alastair and Mark Rennie.

"It’s such a horrible shock that this has happened, but I’m the only one left now.”

The pair arrived in a horse and carriage. The service started with Matt Monro's 'Portrait of my Love', and also included songs by Elaine, one written by herself called 'Daddy' and a cover of Adele's 'Make you feel my love'.

Family photographs were played on a TV in the background while Elaine also shared her own memories of her father and brother.

She said: “I love them both so much. I’m thankful for everyone who has come here and helped make one last memory of them.”

The funeral of Alastair and son Mark Rennie.

The service ended with Belinda Carlisle's song 'Heaven is a place on earth', which Elaine had previously sung on Stars in their Eyes.

Speaking before the service, Elaine said: “They died within a week of each other. They didn’t see each other for their last two weeks.

"It’s been a big shock but I was able to be with them in hospital for their final few days, helping feed and look after them.

"It was horrific. My dad, who was my brother’s carer, was really suffering towards the end. It could have been avoided if the hospital had not mixed patients.

Elaine Rennie attends the funeral of her father Alastair and brother Mark Rennie.

"Both had isolated for two years, they’d had all their vaccines, they hadn’t even seen anyone due to their underlying health conditions.”

The family had moved to Whitley Bay from Paisley when Alastair got a job at Swan Hunters in Wallsend, and he also spent time working at British Shipbuilders at Sunderland.

Mark had worked in banking with the Royal Bank of Scotland before having to stop due to his MS.

Paying tribute, Elaine said both had loved art, music and movies while Alistair made his own DVDs.

She said Mark was very popular on Twitter, with friends from around the world getting in touch to send tribute, pay their respects and send flowers.

A Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “One of our senior clinicians has been in touch with Elaine to offer our sincere condolences and support as well as to help respond to her concerns.

Alastair and son Mark Rennie are taken into the chapel at Tynemouth Crematorium.

"Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot comment any further.”

Alastair, Elaine, Mark and Mary Rennie.