Belfast Telegraph

Funeral for road tragedy couple John and Sylvia McKee who met on blind date

The coffin of Sylvia McKee is carried for burial at Seagoe Parish Church in Portadown after yesterday’s funeral service
The coffin of Sylvia McKee is carried for burial at Seagoe Parish Church in Portadown after yesterday’s funeral service
Sylvia with husband John, who passed away on Monday
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

A joint funeral was held yesterday for two great-grandparents from Portadown who died after a car crash.

Sylvia McKee (72) passed away at the scene on August 4 when the blue Peugeot driven by her husband John collided with a Silver Honda in the Northway area of Portadown.

As the grieving family planned her funeral, Mr McKee (74) was fighting for his life in the Royal Victoria Hospital, but he died on Monday, a day before the service took place.

A 54-year-old man arrested at the scene is currently on police bail pending further investigation.

At Seagoe Parish Church yesterday, Canon Terence Cadden said it had not been possible to have Mr McKee's remains present for the joint service.

He explained that a private burial service would be held at a later date.

"Today is undoubtedly a sad day," he said.

"It has not been easy for the family, t trying to set a date for Sylvia's funeral and John passing last evening.

"We can only try to imagine what the family have been going through in the past week and what they are going through now. They have lost not one but both parents at the same time.

"But for you, the loved ones of John and Sylvia, you alone know what you are going through."

Mr McKee grew up in Poyntzpass and later worked for Tayto and De Lorean cars before taking on a job as a security guard before his retirement.

His wife grew up in Killicomaine and spent part of her career as a stitcher in Spence Bryson, Ulster Laces and the Mayfair.

A blind date in 1970 brought the couple together and in July they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. They shared a love of country music and Liverpool FC.

This is the third tragedy faced by the family in recent years after Mr and Mrs McKee's daughter Sanya died while on holiday in Poland during January 2013 at the age of 44. The couple are survived by their children Nicola and Stephen, son-in-law Derek, daughter-in-law Joanne, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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