Marie Colvin's body due back on LI Tuesday

Undated family photo of journalist Marie Colvin who

Undated family photo of journalist Marie Colvin who was based in London and was killed in a shelling attack in Homs, Syria. Feb. 22, 2012. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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The body of Marie Colvin, a journalist killed while covering the bloody uprising in Syria, is scheduled to return home to Long Island Tuesday.

Funeral services will start Saturday, with relatives remembering Colvin as a courageous journalist and loving person.

"She was just the most wonderful daughter, sister, aunt that you can imagine, and she would just light up the room whenever she walked in," said her sister, Cathleen Colvin of Oyster Bay.

"I see the funeral Mass as a farewell to Marie and a way of sending her to God," she said.

Colvin's Long Island family pleaded with government agencies and humanitarian groups to retrieve her body from the war zone.

A correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, she was killed in a Feb. 22 rocket attack while covering the Syrian military's siege of the city of Homs.

Colvin and French photographer Remí Ochlik died in the same attack that wounded French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy.

Bouvier, Conroy and other foreign journalists made it out alive as the Syrian military drove rebels from Homs last week. The bodies of Colvin and Ochlik were recovered by the Syrian government and transported by humanitarian groups to Damascus, where they were handed over to embassy officials.

Born in Astoria, Queens, Colvin, 56, grew up in East Norwich and attended high school in Oyster Bay. After graduating from Yale, she launched her journalism career, becoming a longtime foreign correspondent who covered wars around the globe.

She survived a close call in 2001, when a hand grenade exploded near her in Sri Lanka, resulting in the loss of her left eye. She had worn a distinctive black eye patch since then.

Visiting will take place Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oyster Bay Funeral Home, 261 South St., Oyster Bay.

A funeral Mass will be offered Monday at 11 a.m. at The Church of Saint Dominic, 93 Anstice St., Oyster Bay.

Colvin's body will be cremated at her request.

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