Great family man who rarely complained

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BANBRIDGE residents have been saddened to learn of the passing of former resident, Mr William James Adair (Billy), who was born in the townland of Tullyheenan.

The eldest son of Ellen and Benjamin Adair, he spent his formative years in the streets around Reilly Street in Banbridge where, as a teenager, he developed an interest in amateur boxing.

He met his future wife Emma Dennison and the couple were married on 8th July 1950. They had four daughters - Brenda, Linda, Denise and Hilary - and remained together for 35 years until Emma’s passing in July, 1985.

Billy had a strong sense of what it meant to be a family man; he and Emma created a loving home in Moorefield, not only for their children and grandchildren, but for every neighbour and visitor who were all made welcome through what was often an ‘off the latch’ front door.

For most of his working life Billy was a lorry driver, working for Sam Gilchrist, Northern Ireland Carriers, and John Graham of Dromore.

He held an HGV licence and was known to be able to reverse a trailer of any size with pinpoint accuracy; a skill which came in very handy in later years when, in his retirement, he became a seasonal member of the Woodcroft carvanning community in Newcastle - a place where he made many new and lasting friendships.

Billy rarely complained, no matter what life had in store for him, and nothing deterred him from honouring his commitments. One commitment changed his life forever when, on 16th February, 1996, he decided to accept Jesus as his Lord and Master.

From that day on Billy was able - and often did - attribute his affable character and many other blessings to the one whose name is above all names, Jesus Christ.

The funeral took place from his home, 14 Moorefield, Banbridge, on Monday, 4th April, for a service in Elim Pentecostal Church where he worshipped.

The church was packed and the service was relayed to the adjoining hall. Pastor Stephen Mitchell officiated at the home, church and graveside and gave an inspiring and challenging address, assisted by former pastors Stephen Hilliard and Darren McWilliams.

The hymns ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ were sung, with Mr Jim Mitchell and Mrs Margaret English presiding at the organ and piano. Billy’s grandson, Kurtis, paid a glowing tribute to his life.

Mr Adair is survived by his daughters Brenda, Linda, Denise and Hilary; sons-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers Raymond, Desmond and Bobby and sisters-in-law.

Interment took place in The New Cemetery and family flowers were placed on the grave. Donations in lieu are being sent to Elim Missions c/o James Minnis and Son, funeral directors, Bann House, 33 Castlewellan Road, Banbridge BT32 4JQ.

James Minnis and Son were entrusted with the funeral arrangements.