Samantha Armytage said her final goodbye to her beloved mother Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Armytage on Friday morning at St Michael’s Cathedral in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, following her death, aged 68, last week.
The Sunrise host, 44, broke down in tears as she delivered a touching eulogy in tribute to her mother – after revealing her sister Georgie had had asked her: ‘What do we do now, without a mummy?’
‘Mum used to say often, you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child. She knew we had all finally found happiness, and so she left,’ Samantha said through tears.
Samantha Armytage said her final goodbye to her beloved mother Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Armytage on Friday morning in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, following her death, aged 68, last week
‘She’s gone too soon. But as Gregory says, it is written.’
While her speech was emotional, it was also uplifting and at times amusing, as Samantha recalled humorous anecdotes about her mother and her childhood.
‘She’ll be redecorating heaven, and making it tasteful,’ Sam added with a smile. She’ll be hanging out with her beloved dad and Pippy the dog. I like to think of her now as our Guardian angel.’
The TV host sat in the front row of the church during the service, wearing a black and white dress with her hair tied back and she was supported by her fiancé, Richard Lavender.
Libby’s mother Dorothy was also present at the funeral, her father Mac and her brother Charlie.
The Sunrise host, 44, broke down in tears as she delivered a touching eulogy in tribute to her mother – after revealing she had asked her family: ‘What do we do now, without a mummy?’
Sunrise’s executive producer Michael Pell was also seen in attendance to support the Channel Seven star and her family.
Earlier in her eulogy, Samantha said of her mother: ‘As dad used to say often, that bloody woman could talk. Her favourite expression was ‘to cut a long story short’, and then the story would go on, and on, and on.
‘Through all the ups and downs of life, I look around at her friendships and think it’s a lovely reflection on mum that there’s a common thread running through all of you. Authentic, wonderful, kind and fun people.
‘Perhaps it is ironic that she was bloody tough, and yet her little loving loyal heart just gave out.’
The TV host also left her family and friends in fits of laughter during her tribute to her ‘fabulous’ mother, as she recalled one such time where she tried to get her to try Spanx.
Happy memories: While the speech was upsetting, it was still incredibly uplifting and amusing as Sam recalled a string of wonderful anecdotes to tell the room
‘We are very sad’: Samantha had announced last Saturday that her mother Libby has tragically passed away
‘Once she called me in a panic in the bathroom, after I’d finally got her to try out Spanx!’ she recalled.
‘Mid-meal, her Lycra undergarment had shot up under her dress – in her words, like a Venetian blind!’
She finished her speech by saying: ‘I like to remember her best, go-go dancing around to Elvis at the Lounge Room at Bolero.
‘We’re all a bit lost. I’m not sure you knew how much of an anchor you were to all of us. Thank you, we love you, and we’ll miss you.’
At the end of her speech, a montage of Libby’s life played out – with Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love With You playing in the background.
The funeral was live-streamed for those who could not attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The service began with a prayer of Here I Am Lord, before a Bible reading.
During a speech, the minister said: ‘Libby was your fabulous matriarch, and had such an important part in your lives. She was the rock. I know Libby was grateful for your love and care for her, when she was going through her health troubles in recent times.
Back in August, Samantha’s mum (right) was hospitalised for heart failure while her dad (left) was hospitalised after suffering a stroke
Final farewell: At the end of the ceremony, the coffin was carried out of the church to the sound of Roy Orbinson’s You Got It
‘Libby’s journey has been your journey to, and you now have the peace of knowing she is finally at rest.’
At the end of the ceremony, the coffin was carried out of the church to the sound of Roy Orbinson’s You Got It.
Samantha had announced her mother’s passing in an emotional Instagram post on Saturday.
While she did not reveal the exact cause of death, her mother had been hospitalised back in August from heart failure caused by an autoimmune disease.
‘Last Tuesday afternoon, a little while after the Melbourne Cup was run, our beautiful mumma passed away, just 10 days before her 69th birthday,’ Samantha wrote.
‘She had fought bravely for a long time and suffered a lot, but finally her big-loving heart just couldn’t do it anymore.
‘Mums are the centre of a family and losing ours has thrown us all in a spin and left a huge, irreparable hole in each of our hearts,’ she continued.
‘We are very, very sad. She was wonderful; kind, loving, loyal, wildly wicked, funny & formidable.’
Back in August, Samantha’s mother was hospitalised for heart failure while her dad was hospitalised after suffering a stroke.
In an earlier post, she said mum Libby had been ‘gravely ill for a while’ and ‘has an autoimmune disease which has resulted in heart failure.’