THE grieving mother of a Tempo man who died unexpectedly has paid a warm tribute to her “beloved son”.

James William Reed (junior), who lived on Main Street in the village, passed away on Monday, just days after his 45th birthday.

A post mortem was carried out to determine the cause of death, after which his remains were returned to his parents’ home in Florencecourt on Wednesday.

The only child of James and Hazel Reed, of Greentown Road, his funeral service was held in St. John’s Parish Church, Florencecourt on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to the Impartial Reporter on Wednesday, his mother, Hazel, said that she had enjoyed a very close relationship with her son and they had talked frequently on the phone.

She said: “I was very close to him, he was my baby. His friends called him James, but I called him Jimmy.”

Mrs. Reed said that her husband had worked away a lot when her son was younger, and this had allowed them to build up a close bond that had endured over the years.

She said: “He was the gentlest, most pleasant wee fella you could meet.

“Everyone said that.

“He had plenty of friends.

“He was happy and enjoyed himself.”

Describing his death as “an awful shock”, Mrs Reed said: “All his friends were out at our house last night. It broke their hearts.”

She revealed that her son had only celebrated his 45th birthday on Saturday.

They had spoken on the phone on Saturday and again on Sunday.

The grieving mother admitted that the death of her only child hadn’t really hit her yet.

“It’s a big loss, but I’ve an awful lot of family around me helping out. The house hasn’t been empty since his death. They all loved him,” she said.

His funeral service in St. John’s Parish Church was followed by burial in the adjoining churchyard.