Mrs Mary Rebecca (May) Castles, called home on 8th August, aged 93. Saved in Lurgan at the age of nineteen under the preaching of Mr Thomas McKelvey, she was thereafter baptised and received into assembly fellowship. She and her husband, who predeceased her in December, 2004, went to live in Belfast where they spent about thirty years in the fellowship of the Parkgate assembly. Jimmy and May, as they were commonly known, returned to Lurgan about twenty years ago and were a very devoted couple to the Lord and the assembly. Their presence is greatly missed as they were always there. Brethren D Gilliland, J Twibil, E Russell, and K Jackson shared the funeral services. A son and daughter with their spouses mourn her passing.
Mrs Elizabeth (Bette) Deans was called home on 24th June following a lengthy period of declining health. Saved in 1938 she was soon baptised and added to the assembly at Plann Gospel Hall before moving with the rest of the company to the Gospel Hall, Crosshouse. Bette was an example in faithfulness among the saints for almost 70 years and along with her husband John was noted for hospitality to the Lords servants. When poor health prevented her attendance she continued to uphold the work in prayer and redoubled her efforts in letter writing, a much appreciated ministry. Remember John and the wider family circle.
Mrs Florence Liggett, aged 87. Saved whilst attending gospel meetings in 1942, she and her husband were baptised and received into fellowship at Lungs in 1944. She loved the Lord, the assembly, and the gospel. She had a large family of five boys and five girls. Her last months were marked with sickness. The very large funeral, with over three hundred present, was a testimony in the district. T McNeill spoke in the home and J Martin in the Gospel Hall and at the adjoining graveside. Local brethren G Irwin and E Steen shared in hymns and prayer. Prayer valued for the unsaved in the large family circle.
Mrs Maud Magee, called home on 15th June. Mrs Magee came to the assembly in Cregagh Street Gospel Hall with her husband, the late Joseph (Joe) Magee, in February, 1948 and was in very happy fellowship until her homecall earlier this year. Maud was a very faithful attendee at the assembly meetings, even in later years when her health deteriorated. Her great love for missionary work was very evident in her interest and care for those on the mission field, and in her practical work of knitting a constant supply of blankets and baby clothes. The large gathering at her funeral service in the family home, which was conducted by Mr Harry Andrews, was a token of the love and respect that Mrs Magee and her family are held in. She will be greatly missed by her brethren and sisters in Cregagh Street, and we extend our love and sympathy to all the family, here and in England.
Mrs Eileen Saunders, aged 84, called home on 17th June. Saved as a young girl in Belfast, she was married early and had a happy home life with her husband Eric and was a loyal wife and devoted mother. Erics life in the Royal Air Force and later the Air Ministry gave opportunity for experience of assembly life in many locations in the homeland and further afield, but they were in the assembly at Antrim for the past 17 years. Given to hospitality, she made and kept many friends. Her family of four all maintain an interest in missionary work. Prayer is requested for Eric, who has been rather unwell recently.
Mr Samuel Wilkinson, on 11th August, in his 86th year, with his wife by his side. His homecall was sudden: his daily reading for that day was Psalm 116.15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints", and his own death took place moments later. He was born into a Christian home in Pittsburg, America, the brother of two saved sisters who predeceased him a number of years ago. His family came back to Ireland when he was two years of age and resided in the Cookstown area. An ex-serviceman in the Royal Air Force, and a Godly mothers teaching of the Scriptures were sufficient to lead him to the Lord Jesus for salvation. Samuel and his wife Minnie were baptised in Cookstown Gospel Hall on the same night. He was a devoted father of Sharon and Stephen and father-in-law of Richard. He was not a public man but was spiritual and faithful, a brother who was steadfast, the Lord being the centre of his life. His voice was heard for years in prayer, especially on behalf of perishing sinners. He was at the prayer meeting and Bible study the Thursday night before his homecall. At his funeral service the Gospel Hall was filled with people from all areas of society, bearing testimony to one who not only witnessed with his lips but with his life. William Taylor spoke in the home and at the Hall, Richard Nelson at the graveside. Words of comfort were brought to the family, and unsaved were left in no doubt about the way of salvation.