Siblings funeral fundraiser appeal after sudden loss of loved Ramsgate dad Duane Challis

Duane with wife Sarah and granddaughter Amelia when she was born

Three siblings who have already suffered so much loss are now fundraising for funeral costs following the sudden death of their dad.

Ramsgate dad Duane Challis died on Saturday (October 1) due to a blood clot in his lungs.

Paramedics tried for more than two hours to save the 56-year-old but sadly their efforts failed.

Daughters Nikita, 25, and Mariah, 21, and son Ethan, 13, now face the daunting task of trying to raise around £5000 for their dad’s funeral.

The siblings lost their mum in 2016 and their sister Gabrielle, aged just 23, to cancer in July. Nikita is also trying to organise the fundraiser and care for her siblings and six-year-old daughter while in hospital after the loss of her unborn baby.

She said: “We trying to raise the funds for Dad’s funeral. We suddenly lost him Saturday to a blood clot in his lungs. Paramedics, doctors and nurses tried for over two hours to save him but it just wasn’t enough.

“Our family has been through hell and back in the last 3 months. We lost my sister in July to cancer and I sadly had to have a procedure done on Friday because my unborn baby’s heart had stopped beating so within the space of a day I had to lose my unborn baby and watch my dad pass away.

“I have a little girl and have to step up even more to be the bigger role model for my sister and my brother, as well as be a mother to my 6 year old daughter and be a partner.

“Dad’s funeral is going to cost nearly £5,000. I need at least £2,200 by Friday to even be able to make a date and time for the funeral. I’m trying so hard but I don’t have support like other people. We have no parents now, it’s just me, my brother and sister.”

Nikita says the loss of Duane, who loved playing computer games and made online friends around the world, has come as “a massive shock and heartbreak” for the family.

She added: “ Dad was so loved and he would do anything for his kids.”

Find the fundraising page by clicking here


  1. I really do sympathise with you all on the tragic loss of your father at such a young age and especially after all your other losses recently.

    I had my mum’s funeral in July and paid £3,600 in total so think you are either being overcharged or being extravagant, something you that does not seem right to me when asking others to assist with costs. We all want “the best” for our loved ones but this is not always possible. I used a small independent funeral director in Northdown Road, near Tesco’s. (I don’t believe I am permitted to name a business on this website).

    I did my mum’s wake at home and made my own sandwiches etc to keep costs low and just had tea, coffee and soft drinks and didn’t spend more than about £40. I would have loved to have had a wake elsewhere but simply had to accept I had budget constraints.

  2. For those who may say I am heartless, I have made an anonymous donation to the fundraiser as my heart really does go out to the family.

  3. Does no one have life insurance anymore??
    Daily occurrence now is to set up a fund raising page to get others to pay!
    I’m not heartless and I sympathise with the family but this is a weekly thing nowadays!

    Life insurance should be a must and even if it’s just to cover the cost of a funeral.

  4. I have to agree with Jane.
    I do sympathise with the family. Having suffered the deaths of my wife, Daughter aged 29 and both parents , my dad went overnight heart attack , working with me one day , gone the next , I was 29 when my dad died.
    Its hard and sometimes comes as a shock but we have to deal with it as hard as it is.

    One has to shop around and not take the first price .
    We would all like the best for our loved ones but sometimes cannot afford like myself.
    To hire the church is about £150 for 45 mins maybe more now, the person who visits your home and says a few words at the funeral is about £200 , the extra car or cars you pay for. Is all this needed ?.
    I doubt if the deceased person is fussed . I know all of mine would not want me to get into debt for them.
    You can get a basic funeral and I think the DWP pay about £1000.

    Last year I paid for mine in full , no insurance , no frills , no extra car , if people want to come they will make their own way there or don’t bother.
    I paid £3.200 that included removal of stone and planning permission (carn’t forget that) to take it off but think its pay again to put it back.

  5. It’s very difficult. But the only sure thing in life is death.
    Almost all of us will face death: our parents, older relatives, perhaps even brothers, sisters and cousins. Tragically, some of us will lose our children.
    I’m not sure how “right” it is to seek for crowdfunding for events, tragic though they might be, that all of us will probably have to face up to more than once in our own lifetimes.
    I would urge people to take out life insurance l policies. That way, when inevitable they die, at least some of the cost of my funeral will be met.
    So sorry.

  6. I told my parents flat out (in no uncertain terms) that if they did not provide a plan for their funerals, they will left where they turn the lights out.

    Surprisingly, they were fine with that.

    • My Dad told me to leave him where he was , I didn’t have the heart to do so.

      He did also say never to buy flowers , get yourself a drink son and that’s what I did for years go to the cem with a can of beer.

      I did feel ripped off when I went to undertakers , single or double plot, well what’s the difference in cost, it was about £50 (1988) , ok least it be there for my mum.
      It was but still had to pay to have it dug not stop there, wanted to add my mums name on the stone, planning permission to take it off and put it back. I said to the stoneman , is anyone going to notice , he say he has to go by the book.

  7. I really feel for the family. My mum passed away a few months ago (in her early 60s) and thought she had paid towards a funeral plan but had been scammed – we didn’t realise this until after she died. She left no other savings due to having had terminal cancer since she was 50 and had her home repossessed during that time due to her inability to pay her mortgage. I think it’s therefore really important not to guess at the reasons why this Man hadn’t made provision for a funeral. They’ve had so many tragedies there hasn’t been time to recover financially from one before another has happened – they may have saved for themselves but then had to spend the money on their daughter’s funeral or lost earnings due to supporting their other children at a time of grief. My mum’s dad was a funeral director so he made sure he had the horse-drawn carriage and limousines when he passed but it didn’t make it more special or meaningful, just more impressive. My mum had decided she didn’t want a traditional funeral as she felt it was a waste of money and opted instead to go for a direct cremation. We hired a room at the crem for £200 for her immediate family and we did our own service. It was beautiful and personal, no cars or huge floral tributes or catering for people we barely know. Just flowers picked from our garden and the readings and family stories we thought mum would have enjoyed. I liked the simplicity of the pine coffin too. Including the cremation it cost us £1800 and we went out for a meal together after which we all chipped in for. I would definitely opt for a simple funeral myself knowing that my mum’s was so special despite being the cheapest thing on offer. For some people a big send off is culturally very normal so I don’t think we should shame them for fundraising if it’s hugely important to them to show their love for their dad with a bit of pomp and grandeur. Why not?! You only lose your dad once and this family will need a lot of care and support in the coming years.

  8. *BTW, the company who scammed her was Pure Cremation. They reassure you that you’ve paid so your family won’t have to worry when you die but when you call to say your loved one has died they then reel off the list of expenses. The £1200 my mum had paid for her direct cremation with them was worth £0. Terrible.

    • That sounds dreadful.
      What did the firm provide at the end of the day? Surely they got something for their £1200?

    • Please accept our sincere condolences for the loss of your mother. Pure Cremation is proud to support families from all over the UK and with an extremely high standard of care. Our pre-paid plans are guaranteed to cover the cost of a direct cremation, along with the hand delivery of the ashes back to a chosen next of kin, alternatively we can scatter the ashes in our garden of remembrance. As a direct cremation provider, 9 out of 10 cremations carried out by Pure Cremation are unattended. However, we do offer the option to hold an attended service at our own Charlton Park Crematorium or at a partnered crematorium somewhere closer to home. There are additional costs for an attended service and these details are included within our information guides, literature and on our website. Additionally, our team will always ensure a potential plan holder is aware of the details of our service before any purchase is made, as we understand a direct cremation is not the most suitable option for everybody. We are eager to investigate your comments further, so that a senior manager can conduct a full review, we will then come back to you directly with a response. Please email us at [email protected], with your mother’s full name, date of birth, address, and post code.

  9. You can get a few quotes and take the best one , for us when we lost mum , Twyman and Holmes in Ramsgate were brilliant value and did a great job .

  10. It’s always best to get a few , also to ask for a breakdown of costs rather than one quote , you may see something that is not needed or you don’t want.
    I had no choice but to cut back on my mums as money was tight.

    I have used a few and it would be wrong of me to say who I thought the best.

    I did use Twyman and Holmes but didn’t for my Daughter as they were given the wrong grave number by the cem , IT WAS NOT THEIR fault .
    It did brighten the day tbh , me saying no no no and they thought I was nuts until I said the person underneath may not like my mum on top.

  11. Anyone not noticed an earlier posted advising against Pure Cremation due to a scam they suffered and then promptly allow another poster (Mia Ramirez) to show a clichéd ad for the same company in this thread?

    Tut tut

  12. Sorry for your loss of your dad Duane. I only just found out. I knew your dad. It’s horrible for Nikita, Mariah, Courtney and Ethan. Duane had more than 3/4 children. So a definite shock learning of his death. Hope you get enough money together for funeral.

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