Well known Glenavy man Sam McAreavey sadly passed away on July 7 but he will be fondly remembered by everyone in the local community.
Born in 1931, Sam married Moyna Millen from the Low Road in Lisburn in 1964 and they had two children, Deirdre and Patrick (Pat).
He found great joy in his extended family of son-in-law Noel and daughter in law, Gill, and grandchildren, Thomas, Peter, Fionnuala, and her husband Paul, and Ciara, and her fiancé Chris. He had missed his eldest grandson Chris dearly since he died in a car accident in 2010.
He was one of 11 children to his father Sam and mother Florence (Brazier). He grew up at Aghadalgon, Glenavy and both his parents came from the shores of Lough Neagh at Sandy Bay/Store quay. He attended “the old” Ballymacrickett National School until he was about 12 and his grandchildren continued this tradition and attended the modern Ballymacrickett Primary School.
He worked at home from a very young age on the farm, making potato baskets and picking apples and went to Belfast markets on a horse and cart with his brothers selling vegetables, apples and poultry.
Amongst many interests, he participated in a local Pipe and Drum Band and played Gaelic football with the then recently formed St Joseph’s GAC with his brothers and cousins, under Bob Cinnamond.
Sam served his time in the licensed trade as a barman, starting in Belfast, then Hagues, Lisburn, and also Brennan’s Bar, the Co Down Arms in HillHall, where he made many life long friends.
Moyna and Sammy lived in Lisburn for 13 years after they were married and he left his mark here too, becoming a founding member and first chairman of St. Patrick’s GAC Lisburn.
When the opportunity arose to manage the Chestnut Inn, Glenavy, he took it up, and moved back to the area where he grew up.
He became involved in his later years with Glenavy and district vintage club. He loved attending events in St Clare’s Community Hall and joined their bowling team in his retirement.
Renowned for his great sense of humour and sharp wit, Sam was always the life and soul of the party, bursting into song on bus trips, family gatherings, or general celebrations. He made great friends across the whole community and loved living in Glenavy.
He was a sociable being with a friendly ear, a real people person. A character and a true gentleman. Sam brought great joy to all of those who knew him, and he will be sorely missed by friends and family alike.
Months mind mass will be held on August 11 at 12noon at St Joseph’s, Glenavy.