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Surreal day for family as 'respected' Ethel Barbour (106) laid to rest

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Centenarian: the late Ethel Barbour

Centenarian: the late Ethel Barbour

Centenarian: the late Ethel Barbour

One of Northern Ireland's oldest residents has been laid to rest in her native Limavady after a funeral attended by just 10 people due to coronavirus restrictions.

Ethel Barbour, who was 106 when she died at Cornfields Care Centre on Tuesday, was "highly respected by everyone", a son said.

Mrs Barbour is survived by her sons David and Bob, daughter Miriam and eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Her son Bob was among the 10 mourners permitted to attend his mother's funeral and burial.

He said Thursday was a surreal day for the whole family.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Barbour said: "My mother passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning but in fact she was fine up until a few days before that.

She was a Godly Christian woman so her funeral was surreal. We would have very much wanted to give her a good Christian service and burial and, while we had the service, there were only 10 of us in church Bob Barbour

"She was alert and we had Facetime conversations with her and she waved and smiled at us. If we asked her a question she answered us and even though she had slight Alzheimer's, she knew us all.

"She was a Godly Christian woman so her funeral was surreal. We would have very much wanted to give her a good Christian service and burial and, while we had the service, there were only 10 of us in church.

"My father William John was well-known as a local councillor so my mother would have been very well-known too and people would have wanted to come to pay their respects."

Mr Barbour said his mother preferred the simple, straightforward things in life and was very much content with her lot.

He added: "My mother was born before the First World War so when you consider the things the children are taught in the history books, she lived through them all.

"She was part of what I consider to be the greatest generation that ever lived, she lived through two world wars, she grew up with no electricity and no running water in the house.

"She was very much her own woman who was highly respected by everyone."

Belfast Telegraph