Tireless fundraiser passes away

A Presbyterian Minister paid tribute to a stalwart Corbet fundraiser who passed away in Craigavon Hospital on Saturday after a short illness.

Rev Frank Gibson was a life-long friend of tireless community worker Sarah-Jane Elliott who had been ill for just two months before she died suddenly, at Craigavon Hospital at the age of 59.

The Minister said that her death had left the community reeling in shock.

Nan (as she was affectionately known), a mother-of-two and community care assistant, was an enthusiastic fundraiser for a number of charities including Macmillan Nurses.

She organised countless tractor runs and donkey derbies around the area and even helped raise enough money to help purchase a St John Ambulance.

Secretary of the first aid charity Hazel Patton said Nan had been a unit leader in Banbridge for a number of years retiring in 2001.

She received the service medal of the Order in 1999 having completed 12 years voluntary service for them.

“Nan is fondly remembered by all at St John Ambulance and our thoughts are with her family,” said Hazel.

Nan from Drone Hill Road was a member of the Ballydown Presbyterian Church where her funeral is due to take place today (Tuesday). It leaves her late residence at 1.15pm for service in Ballydown Presbyterian Church at 2pm.

Married to Billy, she worked as a care assistant often dealing with the terminally ill.

“She had great sympathy and empathy for them,” said Rev Gibson who knew her since she was a child.

“Nan was widely known and respected and had a great way with people.

“She raised a lot of money organising tractor runs and donkey derbies.

“She was very friendly and was always very encouraging towards others. She dedicated a lot of her own time helping others.

“She was outgoing and was the sort of person who gave a lot to the community

“She was involved in the church and was always very supportive of people and helped raise money for St John’s Ambulance.

“I knew her from she was a child and was a great friend to both me and my wife Linda. Linda and Nan would have confided in each other.

“There is no doubt that she will be sorely missed.”

She is survived by her children Julie and Gary and husband Billy and grandchildren Matthew, Grace and Faith.