Karen Gilliland's brother Bryan Cranston and daughter Jade, 6, pay tribute to their sister and mother at her funeral.
Karen Gilliland's brother Bryan Cranston and daughter Jade, 6, pay tribute to their sister and mother at her funeral.

Mourners gather to remember slain nurse

HER youngest child stood beside her brother during the eulogy as mourners gathered to remember nurse Karen Gilliland.

Ms Gilliland was allegedly stabbed to death by her estranged husband in Rockhampton on June 23.

Her funeral, which was livestreamed, was an intimate ceremony filled with emotional sentiments in honour of the beloved mother, friend and family member.

Her brother, Hervey Bay's Bryan Cranston, shared loving memories of his sister, who he described as a rebel, a devoted reader and a loving mum.

He vowed to be a safety net for her children, Saul, 15, Lara, 11, and Jade 6.

Bryan said it was a tough road ahead but he would always be there for them.

"It's OK to fall, that is how we learn," he said to them.

As he delivered the eulogy, Jade joined him on the stage while he told of Karen's love for her children.

"All she wanted to do was be a mum," he said.

Also at the funeral was her mother and stepfather, Cheryl and Nev O'Sullivan.

The O'Sullivans previously ran the Mensland store on the Hervey Bay Esplanade and an ice-cream shop.

Karen was the head of Rockhampton Hospital's pathology unit and, more recently, at the forefront of the region's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan remembered the rebellious spirit Karen always had.

"She liked to come across a bit tough but she really wasn't," he said.

He said the family had been sharing stories about Karen in the lead up to the funeral.

Workmates Katie Forrest and Brooke Jones, with Karen's youngest daughter, Jade, placed flowers on the coffin while Nellie O'Sullivan placed photographs.

Children Saul, Lara and Jade came together and put their own letters to their mum on the coffin.

Cheryl and Karen's father, Geoff Cranston, held back tears as they placed the pall over Karen's white coffin.

She will be buried at the Memorial Gardens next to her son, Thomas, who died in hospital three weeks after his birth.

For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.



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