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John Barratt: Former soldier who rose through ranks at Coca-Cola

The death of John Barratt, former director with Coca-Cola

John Barratt, who has died aged 67, was a former managing director of Coca-Cola in Northern Ireland. He was highly-regarded among the business community and also by a number of charities as a valued fundraiser.

John Andrew Barratt, the eldest of six children, was born in West Sussex in 1946. He lived in the farming community where his father was a herdsman, and his first job was working on a mushroom farm.

At the age of 16, John decided to join the Army and he became a member of the Middlesex Regiment. He initially served in Libya with the British forces before Colonel Gaddafi came to power and also in British Guyana before independence.

He was later stationed at Holywood Barracks in Co Down.

At a dance in the local parish hall he met his future wife, Joan Lavery.

They were married more than 46 years ago in Whitehouse Presbyterian Church where John's funeral service took place before a large congregation.

He served with the Army at Portsmouth and Warminster and he later left to join the Coca-Cola company in Northern Ireland. He worked his way up the ranks over many years and eventually became managing director, where he was highly-respected for his integrity, business ability and his warm, caring personality. In this role he made many friends and contacts in sporting and other activities which the Coca-Cola company sponsored, including, for a period, the North West 200.

John Barratt retired from Coca-Cola at the age of 62 and devoted his time extensively to raising funds for charities.

He retired in October last year as chairman of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children. He is survived by Joan, a daughter, Nichola, and son, Jonathan, and by his wider family and many friends.

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