THE passing of Mrs Martha Ward has brought much sorrow, not only to her family, but to her wider circle of friends in Banbridge.
Martha, who was the dearly loved wife of Frank, 41 Thorn Heights, Banbridge, passed away after a short illness while surrounded by her loving family. During her illness she had the constant care and support of her daughter, Kate, who lived nearby.
Born in Annaclone at a place known as ‘The Duck’s Bridge’, on October 8, 1931, to Adam and Kathleen Cinnamond, Martha was one of six children, all of whom have predeceased her with the exception of her brother, John.
Leaving school at the age of 14, her first job was making nets and she was always hard-working and conscientious.
Martha moved to Brookfield at Seapatrick and then to the former Dunbar master mill at Gilford where she was held in high esteen by both management and staff.
In her younger days she joined Corbet Pipe Band where she and her sister Annie played the bag pipes and it was at a dance at Banbridge Orange Hall, where she later met her future husband, Frank Ward.
Romance soon blossomed and the couple married on 19th September, 1951, setting up home at Magdalene Terrace.
The couple were blessed with five children who were all brought up under the sound of the Gospel.
Among her many gifts was knitting and Martha knitted aran pullovers and scarves. She was also a great cook - her recipe for Christmas stuffing was handed down through the generations.
When time allowed, she loved to watch sport on television and she also enjoyed playing bowls at the Down Shoes Social Club.
Known for her calm, kind, caring and generous nature, Martha enjoyed many holidays with Frank to destinations in America, Canada, Scotland, Jersey, Gibraltar and Israel where they were both baptised in the River Jordan.
The largely attended funeral took place from her home on Friday of last week for a service of thanksgiving in Tullylish Presbyterian Church where she and Frank worshipped.
Her minister, the Rev Samuel Newell, officiated at the home, church and graveside and during his address he referred to the baptismal certificate Martha received at the River Jordan which, he said, illustrated her faith in Jesus Christ as her Saviour and Lord.
The hymns ‘Oh Love that wilt not let me go’ and ‘My Hope is Built on Nothing Less’ were sung and Mr Billy Chambers presided at the organ.
Interment took place at Banbridge New Cemetery and family flowers were placed on the grave. Donations in lieu of flowers are being sent to Marie Curie Cancer Care c/o James Minnis and Son, Funeral Directors, Bann House, 33 Castlewellan Road, Banbridge BT32 4JQ.
Martha is survived by her husband Frank; sons William, Eric and Alan; daughters Kathleen and Ann; daughters-in-law Sharon, Lynne and Hilary; son-in-law Aubrey; grandchildren Keri-Ann, Emma, Charlene, Suzanne, Erin, Mairi, Cameron, Hannah, Sarah, Lyndsey, Adam, Darren, Wendy, Steven and David; great grandchildren Max, Christian, Alex, George, Robyn, Ben, Casey and Missy; brother John; sisters-in-law Linda and Rhoda and family circle.
James Minnis and Son were entrusted with the funeral arrangements.