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Obituary: Townsfolk mourn loss of 'Good Samaritan' Dave at 67

By Eddie McIlwaine

Published 13/06/2015

Winter veg and barley soup
Winter veg and barley soup

David Francis Johnston (Dave), who has died at 67, was known affectionately as The Soup Man.

"He was always out there taking hot home-made soup to elderly folk to show them they hadn't been forgotten," says his partner Sally Kidd.

Dave, a native of Clacton-on-Sea, came to live in Co Antrim at Ballynashee, Ballyclare, when he retired as a lorry driver in Worthing in 2008.

And down the years since arriving here, he had built up a reputation as a Good Samaritan.

"He was always helping people, taking the elderly to hospital appointments or on shopping trips," adds Sally. "Or just dropping in for a chat or with a can of soup."

Widow Lena Martin (89) is one of the people who will miss Dave the most.

"He used to take me out for fish and chips every Thursday," she says.

"And afterwards he would drive me to see friends. He was a delightful, caring man who passed away too soon."

Dave, who had a Labrador cross, loved the country life and had a collection of chickens and pigs.

He was a handyman and a keen gardener who built a greenhouse and was always on call to help local farmers erect fences.

"Dave loved people young and old and was never happier than when someone asked him to give them a hand with a chore," says Sally. "He banished loneliness for a lot of folk."

A service in memory of Dave was conducted in a Ballyclare funeral parlour by Methodist minister the Rev David Cooper and he was laid to rest in the town's Rashee Cemetery.

People he had helped and driven to appointments were among the mourners.

Belfast Telegraph

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