Committeed Christian Joan fought a brave battle with cancer

Joan Cromie
Joan Cromie

IN the early hours of Monday morning, April 30, Margaret Elizabeth Joan Cromie of ‘Scarlet Villa’, 54 Doughery Road, Banbridge, lost her battle against cancer, which she was diagnosed with four years ago.

She bore her illness with true Christian fortitude. Joan, as she was affectionately known to the many friends who had the pleasure of knowing her, was the dearly loved wife of William John Cromie and devoted mum to Janet, Jonathan, Christine and Karen.

She was a very outgoing persona and was very much involved in the farming life at Doughery as well as being a member of Scarva Street Presbyterian Church.

Joan is survived by her husband William, daughters Janet, Christine and Karen; son Jonathan; sons-in-law Geoffrey, Gordon and Jonathan; grandchildren Reuben, Joshua, Matthew and Sophie; brother Noel and sister Pauline. To these and all other members of the family circle sincere sympathy has been extended.

Her funeral took place with family and friends present from ‘Scarlet Villa’, 54 Doughery Road, Banbridge on Wednesday May 2 for a service in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church. The church was filled to capacity with the overspill filling both the church hall and Ervine Hall.

The congregation heard Miss Muriel Cromie read the family tribute.

She said, “Even as a young girl Joan was industrious, always busy and always wanting to learn. This great love of learning continued all through her life and indeed we were hardly surprised when she announced she had even created her own Facebook page so she could keep up to date with all the latest craic from her friends!

“On Sundays, morning and evening, Joan attended Dromore Cathedral Church of Ireland where she was a Sunday School teacher and a member of the robed choir. Jean loved to sing and she loved singing at all the church services. It was during one of these services that Joan responded personally to God’s love as she surrendered her life to him so also began her committed Christian service. Indeed she joked that William was very fortunate to have poached a good Church of Ireland girl to the Presbyterian Church!

“The family would like to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely all those who have helped in any way, including all the healthcare staff at the Royal, the City Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospitals where Joan received expert care and excellent attention.

“A particular thank you to the skilled staff at Newry Hospice for their exemplary care and compassion shown to Joan which comforted her and the family greatly.

“The grief we feel is so great because we loved Joan so much yet we know she prepared us all as best she could for what might lie ahead and has given us the encouragement to have faith in God, to believe and trust in him.”

Joan’s Minister, the Rev. Andrew Watson, conducted the service at which the senior Minister, Rev. James Briggs and son-in-law, Gordon McClintock, read the lessons.

Mr Seamus Burke gave a challenging address. Soloist, Mrs Ruth Agnew, sang two pieces, ‘Beneath the Cross’ and ‘Blessed Assurance’. The hymns, ‘In Christ Alone’, ‘Father I Place into your Hands’ and ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ were sang. Mr Tom Haire presided at the organ.

Family flowers were placed on the grave and donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to William Bell and Co. Funeral Directors, 23 Kenlis Street, Banbridge BT32 3LR for Scarva Street Presbyterian Church Sunday School and the Southern Area Hospice. Cheques made payable to William Bell and Co.

William Bell and Co. had charge of the funeral arrangements.