‘Goodbye and may you rest in peace’: Mourners bid farewell to Worthing brothers

The funeral took place at Broadwater Baptist Church
The funeral took place at Broadwater Baptist Church

Hundreds of people lined the road outside Broadwater Baptist Church to bid farewell to brothers Jason and Stuart following a moving funeral service.

Stuart Hill, 30, and Jason Hill, 31, lost their lives in a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon, during a once in a lifetime holiday to celebrate Stuart’s 30th birthday last month.

Stuart Hill, 30, and Jason Hill, 31, lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Stuart Hill, 30, and Jason Hill, 31, lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Their father, Reverend David Hill, paid tribute to his sons in a service marked with both tears and laughter today (Thursday, March 22).

He said: “Sandra and I feel blessed by our boys, event though our hearts ache because they have left us too early.

“Both boys went out on a high and then went together, a bond that could not be broken.”

Of his son Jason, he said: “From an early age, it was clear he had inherited his mother’s brain and skills.

Flowers at the funeral service

Flowers at the funeral service

“His commitment to his academic studies was exceptional.”

Jason made ‘many friends’ studying law at the University of Southampton and worked hard to secure his ‘perfect job’ as a solicitor at ‘world class firm’ Shoosmiths in Milton Keynes, he said.

In the last few months, he and Jennifer Barham, 39, became a couple and Mr Hill said he was ‘grateful for the happiness’ Jason had found with her.

Ms Barham survived the crash, in which couple Ellie Milward, 29, Jonathan Udall, 32, also tragically died.

Describing Jason in the weeks before his death, Mr Hill said: “He was as happy as I’ve ever seen him, speaking of his personal contentment – the joys and challenges at work, his love for Jen – his appreciation for all that he had.”

Of his son Stuart, Mr Hill said: “Like his brother, he was a charmer and he enjoyed life.

“Stuart knew how to make friends. His cheeky grin and laid back approach to life were a magnet to those that met him.”

He had worked his way up to a ‘top sales position’ at David Lloyd before working as a salesman with Mercedes Benz car retailer Lookers in Brighton, ‘a job he loved’.

Mr Hill said it was ‘a milestone’ in Stuart’s life when he fell in love with Becky Dobson and said: “She was a lovely addition to our family events.”

A funeral for Becky, 26, who also died in the crash, was held last week.

Mourners, who filled three rooms of the church in Dominion Road and included people who had travelled all the way from America and New Zealand, were invited to share fond memories of the brothers.

Their mother, Sandra Hill, read the poem Life and Death are One by Kahlil Gibran, before telling the congregation: “I know my boys are dancing. I want you to take that image with you.

“They are dancing and they will be dancing forever.”

In a shared committal to close the service, led by Mr Hill, the mourners said: “We will not forget you and we will treasure every thought of you.

“Goodbye Jason. Goodbye Stuart. Goodbye and may you rest in peace.”

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