Funeral Service of York Minster Education Manager

York Funeral Ceremony by Yorkshire Celebrant

Connecting Finland to Yorkshire


There wasn’t much that Timo Little didn’t know about York Minster!

Timo had been part of the ‘Dream-Team’ at the Minster who had implemented, created and developed an Education Programme of international repute.

As a man that was obsessed with history, this was a vocational career that Timo truly loved.

In the ceremony, John David, the Master Mason at York Minster commented how dedicated Timo was to his job as well as how much care he put into it.

He was also absolutely brilliant at it!

Talking was a true gift that Timo had. He had a very active social life that involved being part of a cricket team, doing lots of pub quizzes plus supporting the Welsh Rugby team too.

His love of music was a true passion that he had also and he loved sharing it with his family, especially his daughter Elly.

Elly recalled how her Dad would do the Sunday Music Quiz in the Lounge for them to all to participate in. However, it’d be unlikely that any song by Meatloaf would have been played in the quiz as Timo was certainly not keen on the guy  to say the least!



There was a truly beautiful and moving moment in the ceremony when Elly paid tribute to her Dad’s love of music. Elly had never really performed in front of an audience but she did at the funeral service in honour of her father.

Elly played guitar and sang the song Landslide by Fleetwood Mac beautifully.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

There were plenty of tears of laughter in the ceremony too as I (the celebrant) attempted to pronounce my best Finnish!


Timo’s heritage stemmed from Finland yet he’d never mastered the art of the Finnish tongue. As a tribute to this, his ceremony had many chapters about his life and each one had a Finnish title!

Thanks to the help of his relatives in Finland, I (the celebrant) managed to receive the translations of some of Timo’s famous catchphrases!

Saying ‘Take that disgusting pea soup and those revolting liquorice sweets away from me’ in Finnish was indeed quite a challenge!

Each chapter in Timo’s story told tales that covered all aspects and parts of his years so that he received a full celebration of his life.


Timo had met his wife Fay at University but also had met his best friend Dai there. There was much comradery around the fact that Fay had distracted Timo’s affections away from Dai but even though Fay was a biologist and Timo was a historian, they enjoyed many happy years together after meeting in Liverpool.

York Minster

For a while Timo worked as a York Tour Guide yet it was the job in the Minster that was the one he loved the most. York became the place he adored living in plus it was a place where many people became used to the famous Camel Joke!

As the only person that could really tell this 5 minute joke was Timo, unfortunately it didn’t get told in the ceremony yet we remembered this trademark by raising a drink to Timo!

The taste of Finnish Salmiakki was quite potent yet we all tried some in Timo’s honour and said ‘Kippis’ to him! (Cheers in Finnish)


As the ceremony was at York Cemetery, Timo’s ceremony didn’t have to be condensed and so his life was celebrated fully.

Funeral Ceremony Testimonial


An amazing celebration of life. I have been to many funerals in York, often with the same celebrant saying the same words, in tribute to very different people. Louisa’s service for my partner of 32 years could not have been more different. Louisa really took the time to learn about him; his interests, his stories and what made him the individual he was. She spent hours talking to my daughter and I about facts, tales and memories, willingly spoke to close friends and family (both in this country and abroad) and took stories from emails, including one received only hours before the service. Louisa weaved all of these together to produce an original celebration with her own unique twist, but remained passionate about ensuring she reflected Timo. Her service was filled with love, humour, compassion, positivity, a little bit of cheekiness but most of all individuality. No one present (in person or virtually) could have mistaken Louisa’s service as being for anyone else, and many even learned new stories about him. It may be a strange thing to say about a funeral but it was a truly uplifting service, as attested by many of those present. Coming to terms with Timo’s sudden death remains hard, but knowing he had a fitting send off does help. Thank you to Louisa for the huge part you played in this and making something beautiful out of something so heartbreaking.” Fay and Elly.
Ceremony Venue – York Cemetery | Louisa Starr – Celebrant – Funeral Celebrant Yorkshire

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