The death of Nathaniel Rea, or Nat as he was known in the business world, took place on the morning of Friday, March 20.
After a brief illness, he died suddenly on the way to the hospital.
Coming from farming stock, Nat was born on May 16, 1929 in Cariff, Carnalbanagh, were he lived all his days.
For additional income, Nat went to WS McIllroy & Sons in Larne to help deliver furniture a few days in the week.
After 10 years in sales there, Nat and his son Mervyn decided to start up their own business in furniture and carpets in March 1979, beginning in Quay Street, Larne.
Later, in 1985 they purchased the Sun Laundry building and transformed it into a furniture store – Rea’s of Larne. After some renovations and additions over the years, Rea’s of Larne is now a well known family-run furniture business in the town.
After being established for several years, Nat’s second son Samuel joined the business and then seven years ago his grandson Chris also joined the team – this was the third generation within the Rea family and something Nat was very proud of.
Nat enjoyed meeting people through the business, consistently doing his best to help customers and assist them in any way he could, even up to his last days.
He was a life-long member of Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church, being ordained as an elder in 1961.
He was also treasurer for 32 years and Clerk of Session for 22 years until he retired in 2010.
Nat was a governor for Carnalbanagh Primary School for over 20 years, and took a keen interest in all the affairs of the school, and the local community in general.
Nat’s funeral took place on Tuesday, March 24 in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church, and was the largest seen in the district.
Rev Noel Mulholland, Rev Dr Ivan McKay and Rev Mark Neilly all took part in officiating the service, followed by the interment in the New Cemetery, Glenarm.
Nat is survived by his wife Margaret (married for 59 years) his sons Mervyn and Samuel, his daughter Jennifer, his daughters-in-law, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.