Islandmagee woman Betty Mitchell, who passed away last week, was well known in local educational and church circles.
The 95 year-old, had a lifetime career as a teacher and was also deeply involved in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church and in other activities in the community over the years.
Her funeral service from the church was conducted by Rev. Gabrielle Farquhar, who said that Miss Mitchell had been Clerk of Session when she had come to the church, and that she had been a very good friend as well as a colleague from that time.
The Islandmagee woman had originally come to the church as organist in September 1963 and became involved over the subsequent years in all aspects of the church activity and also the wider Presbyterian Church at Presbytery and General Assembly.
She was elected as an elder in the church and also was one of the founders of the church’s Lunch Club, as well as the Big Breakfast. She was also very involved in the Bible study at the church and the recent Alpha course in Ballycarry.
Rev. Farquhar said that the retired teacher “was a good listener, and people in turn listened to what she said. She was a lady of wisdom.”
She began her teaching career at Greenisland, then came to Larne’s Back Road School and moved to Greenland Secondary when the school was opened in the late 1950s.
A teacher of both music and English, she rose to become Vice Principal of Larne High School and numerous tributes were posted to her on the Memories of Larne facebook site from former pupils.
She was also involved in the Business and Professional Women’s Club in Larne, worked for Cancer Research UK in Islandmagee and Ballycarry as well as Christian Aid in the area, and was also a member of Templecorran Historical Society. She also worked with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Larne in the past.
The 95 year old died peacefully in Antrim Area Hospital and is survived by her sister Sally, and nieces Fiona, Alison, Zara and Esme.
Her funeral service was from Ballycarry Presbyterian to Islandmagee Old Church Burying ground at Ballykeel.
The coffin was carried from the church by elders of Ballycarry Presbyterian and then younger men of the congregation, which Rev. Farquhar said underlined her interest and encouragement to the youth in the church.
“She took time with all ages and will be greatly missed,” the Rev. Farquhar added.