Approached life with enthusiasm

Mr Samuel John (Sam) McCandless

IT is with regret that we record the death of Mr Samuel John (Sam) McCandless, of 51 Bannview Heights, Banbridge.

Sam passed away at his home on 29th December 2008 after a short illness. A son of the late William and Minnie McCandless, he was born in the townland of Ballaney near Dromore in 1918 into a large family.

With the traditional Northern Ireland work ethic, he approached life with enthusiasm. He was of a jovial nature and a good conversationalist and in his free time he enjoyed gardening.

Sam lived at Tullyraine with his first wife Elizabeth (Bessie) nee McRoberts and it was there in the family home that they brought up their children. They were well known and highly respected members of the community.

During his early married life, Sam worked as a driver for Corbett’s on the milk lorry. Following this he was employed by Tullyraine Quarries as a lorry driver for a long number of years until his retirement.

He was predeceased by his wife Bessie in 1971 leaving a void in his life. Some time later, while visiting in Bangor, he was introduced to Olive Magill who was later to become his wife. They were married in Alexandra Presbyterian Church, Belfast by the Rev Martin Smyth. In the 1970s they moved to their new home at Bannview Heights, Banbridge where they spent their retirement years.

Sam was a lifetime member of Magherally Presbyterian Church, supporting its organisations and regular in attendance at worship until a few weeks prior to his demise.

He is survived by his wife Olive, two sons Bill (Antrim) and John (Donacloney), five daughters Leta (Mrs Gardiner, Banbridge), Betty and Maureen (England), Shirley (Mrs Snowden, Gilford) and Anne (Mrs Snowden, Ballievey); three brothers Bob, Harry and Bertie (Dromore); sisters-in-law Josie and Millie, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the wider family circle.

The funeral took place on Wednesday, 31st December following a short service in the home for a service of thanksgiving for Sam’s life in Magherally Presbyterian Church.

The large congregation that assembled testified to the esteem in which Sam was held.

His minister, the Rev Stewart Mackay officiated at the home, church and graveside.

During his inspiring address, the minister paid tribute to Sam’s lifetime membership and devotion to his church. Sam became a Christian following the death of his first wife, when he put his trust in Christ as His Saviour.

The 23rd Psalm, ‘The old rugged cross’ and ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ were sung with Elizabeth Ellison presiding at the organ.

Interment took place in the family burial plot and family flowers were placed on the grave. Donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to James Minnis & Son, Bann House, 33 Castlewellan Road, Banbridge, BT32 4JQ for Magherally Presbyterian Church Building Fund.

James Minnis and Son Funeral Directors were entrusted with the funeral arrangements.