Mrs Margaret E Aitken, on 10th June, in her 80th year, after some weeks in hospital. She was saved when she was 9 years old and almost ever since was in happy fellowship in Ormeau Road and latterly in Wallace Avenue, Lisburn. A devoted spiritual woman who loyally supported her husband Albert in his years of earnest labours in the gospel, she had the joy of seeing her family, one girl and two boys, saved and interested in Divine matters. Her interest and help was in the work of God at home and abroad. Her funeral in Lisburn was one of the largest seen for some time. J G Hutchinson and J Rogers gave words of comfort and gospel in the hall and at the grave, with S Thompson and J Wilson sharing in appreciation, hymns, and prayer. Prayer valued for her husband who has had a severe stroke and is very weak.
Mrs Eileen Badger, passed suddenly, but peacefully, into the presence of the Lord on 29th June. Saved as a girl of 14, she was first in fellowship in Limavady but was most of her life in the assembly at Brook Street, Coleraine. She lived a consistent Christian life and was greatly respected both in the assembly and her place of work, and was much given to hospitality. Her large funeral was conducted in the Gospel Hall by R McKeown, assisted by J Verner and T Meekin, and at the grave by M McKillen with M Laverty and J Fillis sharing. She leaves a sorrowing husband Alan, daughter Carolyn, son Stephen, son-in-law John McCandless and two grandsons Allan and Jardine. With Christ which is far better.
Mr John Dalton, called home on 3rd June, aged 78, after several months of illness patiently borne. John was saved on 16th November, 1960, was baptised, and received into fellowship at Ebenezer Gospel Hall, Belfast, where he spent many happy years in fellowship before moving to Carrickfergus to take up a position as manager of the local bank. John was a founder member of Eden Gospel Hall and he and his wife Mary started a Sunday school work which still carries on today. John saw the new gospel hall built at Sandringham and a work commenced there. He was a faithful elder, a brother beloved, a true shepherd and servant of the church, and he will be greatly missed. The large funeral service from Sandringham Gospel Hall was conducted by Dennis Williamson and Andrew McCann with other visiting brethren sharing. Please remember his wife Mary and four daughters in prayer.
Mrs Daphne Ruth Hawthorne, aged 69, went to be with the Lord on 19th June. She was saved in the city of Dublin in 1958, and was received into fellowship in Waringstown in 1964. Daphne was the wife of Mr Jim Hawthorne, correspondent of the Waringstown Assembly, she was a lovely Christian lady, who over many years had pains in her body, which she bore patiently. A faithful member of the assembly, who was given to hospitality and had a meek and quiet spirit, she was respected and loved by all who knew her. The large funeral from Waringstown Gospel Hall was conducted by J Watson and W Conn. Words of comfort were given and the gospel was preached. Daphnes son Alan gave a tribute. The gospel was also preached at the grave by D Creane, a friend of the family.
Mr Norman Joseph Horan, aged 95, was called home suddenly on 25th June. Saved at 19 years of age whilst attending gospel meetings in a tent in Co. Wicklow, a few months later he was received into the assembly at Greystones. Later he was in assemblies at Merrion Hall, Dublin and Howth. In 1945 he married Olive who was a great help to him, until she was called home in 1989. Since then Norman lived on his own. He had marvellous health and never visited a doctor until he was 92 years old. Coming to Northern Ireland in 1959, the family lived in various places and were in fellowship in the following assemblies; Ballymacashon, Moneyreagh, Castlereagh, Central Avenue, Bangor, and finally Ballyclare. Here, Norman was a blessing to all and will be greatly missed. He was a great man of prayer, rising very early every morning and praying for the unsaved, the Christians, and missionaries. He was active in all the meetings and had a shepherds heart. Remember in prayer his daughter Ruth, son Albert, their families and also his sisters Olga and Frances, and brother Granville. The funeral services were conducted by D McNeill, D Glenn and other local brethren.
Mr George Hutchinson, aged 92 years, passed peacefully into the presence of his Lord on 12th July. He was the longest remaining member of his assembly in Hanover Street, Portadown, having been in fellowship for over 70 years. Though he was not a public man, he and his dear wife, who went home to be with the Lord 18 months ago, were faithful attenders at all the meetings even after he went blind 10 years ago. He was a prosperous business man in his town and had the joy of seeing his son and daughter both saved. The high esteem in which he was held was seen in the company present at his funeral. The services in the Gospel Hall and at the graveside were taken by Jack Lennox, Alan Davidson, and local brethren.
Mr William (Willie) Irwin, aged 81, called home on 5th July. Willie was saved in January, 1954 when Mr Charles Fleming was preaching at George Scotts Yard, Annaghmore. He was baptised and received into fellowship at Tullyroan in the same year. His wife Gretta was also saved at the same meetings. Our brother was a most faithful member of Tullyroan right to the very end of his life. The last Lords Day, at the remembrance meeting he read from 1 Corinthians 11. He will be sadly missed. His passing will leave a great vacancy in the assembly. Prayer would be much valued for his wife Gretta. The large funeral service was conducted by Mr David Gilliland, Mr Errol Stafford, and Mr John Rogers.
Mr Robert Mawhinney, passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on 19th June in his 100th year. Our brother was saved in 1926, through the words of John 5.24, at gospel meetings conducted by Mr Samuel Whitten in a barn near Bellaghy in County Londonderry. During the subsequent 82 years Robert proved the reality of salvation. He was a most godly and sincere Christian who loved the Lord and His people, as well as the unsaved. All through his long life his commitment to the local assembly at Bellaghy was exemplary. He was a student of the Scriptures and in recent years constructed a model of the Tabernacle. A large company attended his funeral which was conducted by J Lennox and J Martin assisted by W Nesbitt and S McBride. Prayer is requested for the family circle and the small assembly at Bellaghy which feels his loss keenly.
Mr Cameron Mitchell, aged 83, called home on 13th May. He was saved in February, 1939 at meetings in Killycurragh Gospel Hall, conducted by David Leathem. After he emigrated he was received into Cedar Cottage assembly, and later was in happy fellowship in Woodlawn Drive assembly, Vancouver. On his return to N Ireland he came into the Killycurragh assembly, and for over 30 years he was in Cookstown assembly although latterly restricted by illness. Cameron contributed profitably and practically to the assembly, sharing helpfully in open air work in the district. A large number attended his funeral which was conducted by William Taylor, Richard Nelson, and Jack Lennox. Prayer is requested for his widow, son, daughter, and family circle.
Mr John Rudd, aged 85, called home to be with the Lord on 6th June. John was saved as a child and went on to prove the reality of his salvation. He was a diligent student of Gods Word all his life and his knowledge of the Scriptures, especially the Old Testament, was exceptional. Philippians 1.21 was quoted repeatedly at the funeral service and this was very appropriate: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain". The large number from all over the country that attended the funeral bore testimony to the esteem and respect the saints and the local people had for John. He will be sorely missed in the local assembly at Kirkconnel. Prayer would be valued for the family.
Mr Samuel Stevenson, Portadown, was called home on 25th June at the age of 63, as a result of a road traffic accident in Poland. He is survived by his wife, two children and their spouses, and five grandchildren. He was saved on 16th October, 1964 and in his quiet and modest manner was most helpful in every way. His testimony among his neighbours and in his thriving business was outstanding. He and his wife, Olive, were faithful to the work of the Lord and in providing willing hospitality. He will be greatly missed by the family, the assembly and the work of God. An exceptionally large gathering heard the gospel at the funeral services, which were conducted by J Callaghan, W Kirkpatrick, B Currie, and R McKeown.
Mr John Saunders Thompson, evangelist, aged 87, called into the presence of his Lord and Saviour on 4th July after an illness patiently borne. He was born into a home where no one was saved: he was sent to "church" Sunday School and to the religious services. When he was 6 years old, his father was saved and this resulted in the Word of God being brought before the family, and this left a marked impression on John Thompson regarding his need of salvation. He was born again on 26th February, 1937, aged 16 years, whilst attending local gospel meetings. In 1939, he joined the RUC. From his conversion, he had a profound interest in the unsaved, not least in regard to his own mother. He cycled many miles nightly to take his mother to gospel meetings and then cycled back to go on night duty at the residence of the then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Lord Craigavon. Mr Thompsons mother was saved at this time. In his RUC role, he witnessed powerfully to his officers and had the joy of seeing a number of them trusting Christ. In 1951, with further promotion beckoning in the Police Service, he resigned to devote his whole time to preaching the gospel, in sole dependence upon God to meet his needs. In this, he was fully supported by his beloved wife Ena, and received commendation from four assemblies with which he had been associated. John Thompson was a faithful servant of Christ, labouring fervently and unselfishly to reach souls, and God used him in the salvation of many. He was also firm in his conviction about local assembly truth. He laboured tirelessly in Ireland and also paid visits to Wales and the Isle of Man. Ill health subsequently curtailed his labours but not his devotion to Christ and His service. John Thompson is survived by his dear wife, Ena, daughter Anne, sons Samuel and Andrew, his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His large funeral service was conducted by R McKeown, J Lennox, S Ferguson, assisted by R Fairley, S McBride, W J Nesbitt.