Langford family farewelled by 700 mourners after they died in New Zealand volcano disaster3 min read

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The sole survivor of a family-of-four all but wiped out in New Zealand’s volcano disaster watched a livestream of the funeral for his parents and sister from his hospital bed.

Jesse Langford remains in the burns unit at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney three weeks on from the White Island eruption that killed 19 people on December 9.

The 19-year-old survived the tragedy that claimed the lives of his father Anthony, 51, mother Kristine, 46, and sister Winona, 17, with burns to most of his body.

In an emotional service at Marist College North Shore on Monday, a eulogy written by Jesse was read out to the crowd of 700 mourners.

A memorial service for Anthony, Kristine and Winona Langford was held in Sydney on Monday

A memorial service for Anthony, Kristine and Winona Langford was held in Sydney on Monday

Winona's school friends are seen lining up during the funeral procession

Winona’s school friends are seen lining up during the funeral procession

Mourners embrace during the memorial service at Marist College North Shore on Monday

Mourners embrace during the memorial service at Marist College North Shore on Monday

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A memorial booklet for the trio said: ‘Anthony, Kristine and Winona were wonderful to their immediate and extended families.’

Winona, whose body has not yet been recovered, was remembered as a vibrant teen with a love for music and animals.

‘She was a member of the (Willoughby Girls High) school band and played the flute, taking huge delight when the band toured the USA in 2016,’ the memorial booklet read.

‘She was very keen to have a career in special effects makeup and attended TAFE once a week for training.’

Kristine, or Kris to her friends and family, was a loving mother with a passion for the outdoors.

‘Kris was a very active person and walked Gypsy the family dog every day, and enjoyed bike riding. Her family and friends meant everything to Kristine.’

Jesse Langford (right), 19, is the sole survivor after the White Island tragedy

Jesse Langford (right), 19, is the sole survivor after the White Island tragedy

The family were travelling on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship celebrating Anthony's birthday when they decided to tour White Island

The family were travelling on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship celebrating Anthony’s birthday when they decided to tour White Island

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (R) embraces a mourner (L) at the service

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (R) embraces a mourner (L) at the service

Anthony was a looked back on as a dedicated family man who loved boating and travelling.

‘He embraced the present, while his diligence and work ethic ensured his family’s future,’ the memorial booklet read.

The family were travelling on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship celebrating Anthony’s birthday when they decided to tour White Island.

Their day trip from the cruise ship turned to disaster when they were some of 47 people on the island when it erupted.

Superheated steam, ash, and toxic fumes poured out of the crater, leaving very few of the stranded holidaymakers unscathed.

A mourner breaks down during the emotion service to the family tragically all but wiped out by the volcano disaster

A mourner breaks down during the emotion service to the family tragically all but wiped out by the volcano disaster

Distraught classmates of Winona and Jesse leave the memorial service

Distraught classmates of Winona and Jesse leave the memorial service 

Jesse was miraculously whisked to safety with terrible injuries, but his family never made it off the island.

Mr and Mrs Landford’s bodies were recovered days later by rescuers who braved the deadly conditions to give families closure.

Winona’s body is presumed to be washed out to sea and may never be found.

Before they set off on the cruise, Kristine Langford shared a photo of herself, her husband, and Jesse – presumably taken by Winona – of them about to board the ship.

‘My first post in a while. We’re off cruising on #royalcarribeancruise Happy birthday [Anthony Langford]. Bon voyage everyone!’ she wrote. 

Sadly they never returned.