Mrs Eirene Wright (née Edgar), in her 97th year, was called home on 27th June. Eirene was born in Belfast, brought up in Bangor Co. Down by godly parents, and as a teenager of 16 years, received Christ as her Saviour. While at University in Belfast, she was very involved with the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and there was called by the Lord to serve Him in Japan. After gaining her Honours degree in Mathematics, she unexpectedly went into a teaching career because of the start of the war. It was while staying in Omagh, that she first met Bobbie Wright from Strabane, who had been serving the Lord in Japan. In 1945 they were married, and after a short stay in Carrickfergus, where the first of their 6 children was born, they set out for Japan in 1947, to share the Gospel. Eirene had enough to do in Japan as a wife and mother, and even teaching as a Mathematics professor at a University of Maryland campus in Tokyo, but it was her Christian life that shone out as she supported the work that Bobbie was involved in, and worked amongst her neighbours and the ladies in the assembly at Daikyo Machi. It was not easy balancing everything, but her tireless energy and careful budgetting, overshadowed by her faith in her Lord, enabled her. Their return to Northern Ireland in 1960 because of Bobbie's health, didn't make her frenetic life any easier. As well as their involvement at Carrickfergus Gospel Hall, as the children grew up, Eirene went back to teaching. What started out as just "helping out" at Carrick Technical College, ended up, via Larne Grammar, at Carrick Grammar School, eventually as senior mistress. Throughout her life as wife, mother, teacher, neighbour, what shone through was her devotion to her Lord, her Godly character, and her prayerlife. She never expected to be a widow for 25 years, or to have her eldest son pre-decease her, but through it all God had a work for her that she carried out faithfully. In her later years, it became obvious that her life had affected many people through her love, care, and prayer. Her family (right down to her great grandchildren) loved her, and to the end, appreciated her smiles and knew that they were regularly prayed for. At the thanksgiving and celebration service in Carrickfergus Gospel Hall, a large crowd, which represented so many aspects of her life, praised God for His faithful servant.
Mrs Jean Davis (née Sherrard) was called to be with Christ on 9th August, aged 82 years. She was saved as a girl of 10 years while attending gospel meetings conducted by the late brethren Tom Wallace and Joseph Stewart in her parents' farmhouse near Limavady in County Londonderry. Some time later she was baptized and received into fellowship in the assembly at Coleraine. On her marriage to her late husband, Graham, Jean moved to reside in Newtownstewart in County Tyrone. For the next fifty years she was an active and faithful member of the local assembly. Jean was known for her interest in the spread of the gospel and she showed much hospitality to many visiting preachers over the years. Failing health necessitated her move to Faith House near Belfast in 2009 and from this eventide home she was called home to heaven. Her well attended funeral services were conducted by brethren Leslie Hawe, Jack Lennox and Wesley Martin with others taking part in tribute and prayer.
Mr David McCurry. Our brother, who was born on 22nd December 1946, passed into the presence of His Lord and Saviour on 16th July after a prolonged period of illness. He will be sorely missed by his wife Rachel (Rae) and his three sons and their families. David was in fellowship in Oldpark assembly, Belfast, before coming to Ballyduff where he spent many years fully involved in all the work of the assembly including Sunday School, open air work, Bible teaching and gospel preaching throughout the province. He was also a valued overseer and shepherd whose counsel will be missed. His large funeral was from Ballyduff Hall and was shared by local brethren Jim Luney and Jim Moore, his lifelong friend, who gave a fitting tribute and spoke words of comfort and challenge. Prayer valued for all who mourn his passing.
Mr Donald Raggett was called home to be with the Lord on 5th August, aged 86. He was saved at the age of 14 and in fellowship at Cheetham Gospel Hall and then at Prestwich Gospel Hall. He lived for the assembly and was the Sunday School superintendent for over 40 years, the assembly correspondent and an elder for over 50 years. He served the Lord in the Manchester area, was given to much hospitality, and helped many of the Lord's people. He was a Godly man of very few words with a love for the Lord and his people. He had a wonderful tenor voice which was a delight to listen to in the meetings but which had been sadly silent due to ill health during the last few years of his life. He and his wife, Margaret, were married for 62 years and the latter cared for him over a long illness. Their testimony to the carers who tended him over the past few years was evident to all. At his large funeral service, with many unbelievers present, the messages were given by Mr Norman Mellish, Mr Robert Revie and Mr John Barnsley. Prayer is requested for his wife Margaret and the family.
Mr Alex Sutherland, aged 78 years, was called home to be with the Lord on 23rd June. Our brother was saved in boyhood having attended Sunday school and the assembly meetings in Prince Street Hall, Peterhead. Alex served his apprenticeship in a marine engineering business owned by a local brother, where he thoroughly learned his trade. He served on cargo liners, and enjoyed fellowship with Christians in various parts of the world, but later sailed as engineer on Peterhead fishing boats. Alex's contributions in the assembly at York St Hall were really appreciated. He was an encourager, and his hearty "Amen" at the "giving of thanks" is now missed. His excellent practical skills were always available to the assembly and to the saints, and at the large burial service appropriate tribute was paid to our brother, whose hands had ministered oft to the necessities of others. He is sadly missed by his widow Violet and the family.
The obituary of Mr Thomas Spence was submited wrongly to the July issue of Believers Magazine. Mr Spence had seven children and not six.