Joanna Yeates was a beautiful, talented young lady destined to fly high
INTELLIGENT, loving, with an incredibly bright future – Joanna Yeates had everything to live for.
Miss Yeates was born in Hampshire on April 19, 1985, to David and Teresa, and had an older brother called Chris.
Well-educated, she passed A-levels in art, biology and geography at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, before graduating from Writtle College, Essex, with a degree in landscape architecture.
Miss Yeates later excelled at the University of Gloucestershire, where she achieved a distinction for her postgraduate diploma in landscape and environment.
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And in 2010, she completed a masters degree in garden design at Bristol University.
In 2008, Miss Yeates landed a job at architecture firm Hyland Edgar Driver (HED) in Winchester, where she met her boyfriend-to-be Greg Reardon.
When HED relocated to Bristol, the couple moved to the city, settling in Clifton before they both got jobs at BDP based in Hill Street.
Remembering their lost daughter, her parents described her as a "beautiful and talented young lady".
"Jo was taken from us," they said. "She was a beautiful, talented young lady who was destined to fly high.
"Her life was stolen from her and she was stolen from us.
"Our lives stopped from the time that we knew Jo was missing.
"We gain a little solace from the fact that the high point in Jo's life was her graduation in November when her life was 'perfect'.
"Our grief and sadness includes the experiences which she missed out on, in terms of family and children, and rising through her profession.
"For us, we will always miss the presence which came with her – hearing her voice, her lightness, and standing back with pride, watching her grow through life."
Miss Yeates and Mr Reardon were described by friends as "the perfect couple".
They shared a love of outdoor sports. For Miss Yeates it was surfing, biking, rowing and snow-boarding, while Mr Reardon excelled at skiing.
They cherished their times together at the Isle of Wight music festival and looked back fondly on the time they borrowed Miss Yeates' mum's camper van and went on a week-long tour of Cornwall, surfing together.
Miss Yeates loved spending time with him on Bristol's Harbourside, had recently joined a rowing club and enjoyed evenings out, overlooking the water.
The couple shared their flat at 44 Canynge Road, Clifton, with their beloved cat, Bernard.
Mr Reardon said: "Jo was a beautiful woman – beautiful in mind, body and soul. She had a great career ahead of her as a landscape architect and would have achieved a great many more things in her life if only she was given the chance. I will always love her."
Her funeral took place at St Mark's Church, known as the "church in the woods" in the family's home village of Ampfield, Hampshire.
More than 300 relatives and friends gathered as she was laid to rest in a simple wicker coffin, bearing yellow ribbon.
The order of service was lit up with a well-known image – her beaming graduation photo.
Mr Reardon has set up a fund in Miss Yeates' memory, for the Missing People Charity. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/JoannaYeates.