Belfast Telegraph

Prentice family grateful for support as 'loving father' Norman laid to rest

By Claire Williamson

Mourners at the funeral of a man whose body was found after he went missing in mid-January have heard of the comfort the "community's compassion" has brought to his family.

Norman Prentice's body was recovered from a river in the Corcrain area of Portadown on Saturday.

The 55-year-old local man was reported missing on January 15, but had not been seen for a number of days before then.

Following the recovery of his remains, Mr Prentice's sister Eileen said the family were holding up but that they hadn't been able to take his death in yet.

His funeral took place at St John's, Drumcree yesterday.

Fr Peter Clarke told those gathered about the importance of compassion and mercy and how the support of the local community had been a "blessing" for the Prentice family as they helped search for Norman.

He described Mr Prentice as a "loving father" and told those gathered about his life and how he was "very sociable".

He told the congregation: "I commend the community for all the searching they've done over the past few weeks and the Lough Neagh Rescue, who eventually found him.

"It was a great blessing for the family because it brought them some closure."

He added: "Norman has gone to God, and God is there not to condemn but to redeem."

Speaking after the service Fr Clarke paid tribute to the family and said they were "very dignified" and "were especially happy they got closure".

He said: "The search was tough on them. He was well-remembered."

In a death notice he was described as the beloved father of John, Peter, Maria and Conlon.

Speaking before his funeral, Eileen said: "We're okay. We are glad to get him home and glad he is found, and we can put closure to the whole lot now.

"We are relieved, although the waiting at the river to get him out felt longer than the actual process of searching for him.

"But we knew it was going to be that way, we were prepared for him to be coming home the way he was. It was an accident, there was no foul play suspected."

Extensive searches were carried out to find Mr Prentice and his family have thanked all those who were involved for their support and help.

She said what she will miss most is the "banter" she and her brother shared.

"He was a character and he will be sorely missed a lot," she said.

"I'll just miss his banter and his words of wit."

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