‘Jakki was greatly loved by people’

‘Jakki Hanna was greatly loved by many people’ is how a Derriaghy minister described her at the funeral at Christ Church, on Monday afternoon.

Jakki (Jacqueline) a former journalist with the Ulster Star died on May 22, following an incident at her home on the Glenavy Road, which left her severely burned.

Canon John Budd, who was assisted at the service by Rev Melissa Jeffers said, “She was a person of great potential. The extent to which that potential went unrealised is tragic itself. To think of the circumstances in which we come here leaves us numb and gives rise to feelings which go beyond all normal powers of description.”

Jakki grew up in Derriaghy and was the only child to George and Myrtle.

“For Jakki growing up in the local community was like an extension of her family and would have been accustomed to going in and out of homes as a matter of course,” said the minister.

When she was involved in Crossfire Trust she met her first husband Gordon. The pair married in 1986 and ran a home for alcoholics on the Shankill Road. Jakki was a volunteer with the YMCA and NI Hospice. They had one son Jordan.

Jakki and two other children to Jonathan Stevenson. She married Simon Hanna in 2007.

Her mother Myrtle died in 1998 of cancer and her father George died six years later.

“All of these things took their toll on Jakki, and the scars ran deep, especially when in years to come her contacts with her children became less.

“However, despite her many talents the course of Jakkis life was neither even nor easy. She was generous with her time and money and in recent years she sponsored a boy in west Africa. She had the gift of friendship in abundance and went out of her way to make others feel at home. But her ability to love herself was sometimes impaired by circumstances and this caused her great emotional suffering.”

“When she and Simon met and married in 2007 Jakki had been at a low ebb. Their love for each other carried them forward even though other difficulties did not go away.”