Belfast Telegraph

Renowned artist Gladys was epitome of a lady, mourners told

By Allan Preston

The funeral of one of Ulster's most distinguished artists, Gladys Maccabe, has taken place months before her 100th birthday.

Amidst a biting snow storm, mourners gathered at Roselawn Crematorium to share memories of a "prodigious talent" who was equally known for her kindness and encouragement to others.

Devoted to her late husband Max and a loving mother and grandmother, Mrs Maccabe spent her final years in River House in Newcastle and New Lodge in Castlewellan before passing away peacefully on February 22.

Former Orangefield Presbyterian Minister Rev Ken McBride was a close friend of the family.

"Gladys was, to me, the epitome of a lady," he said.

"Always fashionably turned out, eloquently and stylishly dressed. Highly intelligent and articulate, convivial in company and a most engaging conversationalist."

Mrs Maccabe's granddaughter Jayne read a prayer her grandmother had previously recited from memory in 1941 during the Belfast Blitz while sheltering from Luftwaffe bombers.

Mrs Maccabe's first picture was published aged 16 in the Royal Drawing Society's magazine.

She would later decline an offer to study there in London after her father George died due to an exposure to mustard gas in the trenches of World War One.

"She felt a responsibility to stay at home and support her mother," said Rev McBride.

"Such was the calibre and thoughtfulness of Gladys even as a child she went to Belfast College of Art."

Her additional career as a journalist saw her work as a fashion and arts correspondent across multiple publications and television.

She also founded the Ulster Women's Art Society in 1957 which recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Belfast Telegraph

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