Popular agricultural merchant is laid to rest

Thomas Gilliland
Thomas Gilliland

A well known figure in the farming community, Thomas Gilliland, has passed away peacefully in Craigavon Area Hospital, following a short illness.

Thomas was born in Seapatrick on July 19, 1929, the sixth of eight children of whom two sisters, Florence and Iris, survive him.

Brought up in Bannview Terrace, also known as the Red Row, he married Gladys McCarrison, originally of Tullylish, on the September 30, 1961 and had two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane.

Thomas’ career centred around the farming community - initially starting out as a breadman and subsequently working as a representative for Crossfields Meal and Shaver Poultry. Thomas and Gladys lived on the Ballygowan Road, Banbridge, from where he started his Agricultural Merchant’s business. Together they built up a successful and thriving business, which continued after Gladys’ death in March 1984 and until Thomas’ retirement in 2002.

Thomas was a well known and well regarded figure. He had a keen eye for a good pony, enjoyed his vegetable garden and loved the company of friends and family.

Thomas accepted Christ and was saved in 1983, whilst nursing Gladys through a long illness.

He became an active member of Loughbrickland Mission Hall, Banbridge and Poyntzpass Baptist Churches and together with his good friend Irene Baird enjoyed the fellowship of services and prayer meetings. Thomas was blessed to enjoy a good measure of health and strength throughout his life but passed away on February 23, after a short illness.

Thomas will be loved and remembered always by his entire family circle and close friends, and is now at Home with the Lord.

The well attended funeral took place from his home at Woodvale Mews, Loughbrickland for service in Banbridge Baptist Church where his minister Pastor Wesley Crawford officiated. The hymns ‘To God Be The Glory’ ‘O Sinner The Saviour Is Calling For Thee’ and ‘Have You Any Room For Jesus’ were sung.

The interment took place in the New Cemetery. Family flowers were placed on the grave and donations in lieu are being sent to William Bell and Co Funeral Directors, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge, BT32 3LR for Open Doors Ministries. At the grave side the hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ was sung.

William Bell and Co were entrusted with the funeral arrangements.