A 42-year-old amateur body builder from Lisburn, who died from a massive heart attack in his sleep has been described by his pastor Nick Serb as a ‘true friend’ who was ‘well loved.’
Kenneth Thompson, died on January 12.
At the funeral service at a relative’s house last Tuesday, Nick Serb, a Free Methodist Church pastor spoke warmly of him.
In his eulogy he said, “A great privilege that comes with being a pastor is that you get invited into people’s lives.
“You experience their joy and sorrow, you become familiar with their struggles and slowly a little part of you stays with them.
“It has always been a joy to be a pastor, however, there are times when that joy turns into unbearable pain and tears. “
He continued,”This is what happened when I heard my dear friend Kenneth Thompson passed away, in his sleep, suffering a deadly heart attack.
“Kenneth’s passing took us all by surprise because he loved life and he made sure everyone knew it. He made no secret of the fact that he adored his mother, Lorna.
“He made sure that we all knew that mum was the most important person in his life. He will be deeply missed by his dear mother who will continu eto hold on to the great memories of her son.”
His family were important to Kenneth, the pastor said.
“His sister Nadine and nephews Kyle and Riley were a big part of his life,” he continued. “His daughters Katie, Chelsea, Toni and Mason were very often topics of our conversation, alongside Alex and others members of the family.
“Jackie with her daughters Jessica and Becca, also filled his life with love. You could say he loved loving and being loved. And there is no doubt about that. And yes, Kenneth was loved.
HIs family were then surprised, said the pastor, when Kenneth decided to participate in an amateur Body Building Competition.
“His hard work paid off and after weeks of training he secured a podium position,” he said. “It was an unbelievable accomplishment that to came with amazing sacrifices. However, no challenge was going to stop Kenneth from achieving his goals.”
Mr Serb went onto say, “I met Kenneth in the context of his journey of faith.
“ His sincerity was unequalled and he made no secret of the fact that although his faith was secured, life challenges, sometimes burdened him.
“Everyone that has faith in God can understand that. However, Kenneth never stopped seeking God for help in times of loneliness or pain.
“The number of people that turned up to say their final goodbyes proved also that Kenneth was deeply loved and cherished as a family member and as a friend.
“The loss is deeply felt but the memories of his life will remain with us forever.”
He was buried at Lisburn New Cemetery.