AAP Image/Ben Rushton

Uncle’s emotional farewell for Jessica Falkholt

AUSTRALIAN actor Jessica Falkholt's uncle has choked back tears at her funeral service while also condemning the drug-addict driver who tore his family apart.

Paul Ponticello said his family would never be the same after the Boxing Day crash which killed Jessica, her sister Annabelle, 21, and their parents Lars and Vivian, the Daily Mail reported.

"An entire family has been taken by events totally beyond their control," Mr Ponticello said.

"What occurred does not fit neatly within the definition of accident.

"A heartfelt thanks goes out to those who risked personal safety to drag both Jessica and Annabelle from the wreckage, which gave the girls, albeit slim, a chance of survival."

His eulogy was delivered after friends and relatives of Jessica gathered at a Sydney church on Monday to farewell the 29-year-old nearly a month after the crash also claimed the lives of her parents and sister. Serial driving offender Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, also died in the crash.

Mourners at the funeral for Jessica Falkholt at St Marys Catholic Church in Concord, Sydney
Mourners at the funeral for Jessica Falkholt at St Marys Catholic Church in Concord, Sydney AAP Image/Ben Rushton

"Beautiful Jess, you made us proud. You were a rising star. Shine bright above us, you will always be remembered and in our hearts forever," Mr Ponticello said.

Earlier today, mourners embraced outside St Mary's Catholic Church, Concord, as they arrived for a midday Mass led by Father Paul Crowley.

The family requested the ceremony remain a closed event, describing Jessica as an incredibly private person.

They said the past weeks had been a period of "unimaginable trauma" and were looking forward to putting it behind them and cherishing memories of the young actor.

Less than a fortnight ago, mourners gathered at the same church to celebrate the lives of Jessica's parents Lars and Vivian and sister Annabelle, 21. Lars and Vivian died at the scene of the December 26 crash near Ulladulla on the state's south coast after a four-wheel drive slammed into the Falkholt family's car.

The two sisters were pulled from the wreck before it erupted in flames, but Annabelle died in hospital three days later.

Mourners release doves at the funeral for Jessica Falkholt
Mourners release doves at the funeral for Jessica Falkholt AAP Image/Ben Rushton

Jessica spent weeks clinging to life at Sydney's St George Hospital before her life support was switched off, with the actor dying six days later. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations to be made to Australian Cancer Research.

Jessica has been remembered as a "gorgeous soul" and talented actor who was a pleasure to work with.

She found fame on the small screen as Hope Morrison on TV soap Home and Away. "May you now rest in peace alongside Annabelle, Lars and Vivian," one of the show's stars, James Stewart, wrote on Twitter.

Home and Away stars Pia Miller, Jackson Heywood, Philippa Northeast and Isabella Giovinazzo were among the mourners who turned out for Jessica's funeral.

Nadine Terens, a make-up artist who worked with Jessica on the long-running Seven Network series, said she would always remember the actor fondly. "Jess you have fought so bravely and ferociously yet now you are reunited with your family. Shine bright you gorgeous soul. Our friendship will never be forgotten," she wrote on Facebook.

News Corp Australia


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