Willie ‘held in highest esteem’ by his friends

William Mills
William Mills

A member of Rathfriland Angling Club, William Francis Henry Mills, passed away at his home at 21 Brae Road, Ardarragh, Newry on Friday, February 10.

Willie, as he was affectionately known to his many friends and acquaintances, was held in the highest esteem and described as a man of many sterling qualities.

He was the son of the late Alexander and Agnes Mills, and brought up in the Ardarragh area he went to school at Ballykeel Primary.

Willie had many interests, especially in shooting and fishing at which he won many cups and prizes.

He also took a great interest in music. He was a founder member of Finnard Accordion Band and played with Brunswick Accordion Band Annalong in competitions in the Ulster Hall.

As an Agricultural Engineer, Willie repaired and manufactured farm implements from sheepshearers to combine harvesters and travelled all over South Down and South Armagh with his work.

As a young man he enjoyed photography and was a life long gardener.

A skilled craftsman, Willie produced many items of fine furniture. He also repaired watches, clocks and clock cases and restored antiques. Any product, functional or decorative, was completed to perfection.

Willie had been a member of the B Specials Ardarragh Platoon and was also a loyal and faithful member of Ryans Presbyterian Church where he was a regular attender.

He is survived by his wife Annie, sons Kenneth, Colin, George and Andrew, daughters Mrs Frances Shilliday (Canada) and Mrs Sheila Nelson (Ardarragh), daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, 10 grandchildren, six great grandchildren and sister Annie (Kilkeel).

To these and all other relatives sincere sympathy has been extended.

The funeral took place from his home on Monday, February 13, for a service in Ryans Presbyterian Church.

Rev Frank Gibson who is covering the vacancy gave a challenging address.

The hymns ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ and ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ were sung. Mrs Hilary Hamilton presided at the organ.

The committal took place in the adjoining churchyard.

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 Chest Heart and Stroke and Child Evangelism (cheques made payable to William Bell and Co).

William Bell and Co had charge of the funeral arrangements.