Belfast Telegraph

Teacher Heather Neill 'a ray of sunshine in grey world', mourners told

By Donna Deeney

Mourners who gathered for the funeral of a former Co Down teacher who lost her life in a road crash last weekend heard her described as a "dash of colour in a grey and colourless world".

Heather Neill died at the scene of the collision between the car she was driving and a Translink bus on the Moneynick Road near Randalstown.

The mother-of-two was a retired teacher from Dromore High School where she taught for 35 years, 20 as the head of business studies.

Pastor George Hilary from the Lisburn Christian Fellowship, where Mrs Neill was an active worshipper, addressed the congregation at her funeral service.

He said: "What can we say about Heather? She was unique. She had flair, creativity and not a little wildness. She was colourful, imaginative and free. She was also caring and compassionate.

"She was a committed Christian who wore her heart on her sleeve. She was caring, prayerful and sensitive to others' needs. Heather was always encouraging and supportive. I never heard a word of criticism from her and I and our church leadership received unfailing affirmation. She was an active member of our church, part of a house group and worked with our ladies and young people.

"Heather was a ray of sunshine, a dash of colour in an often grey and colourless world.

"She was arty and creative, enthusiastic and imaginative. She saw the potential in people and always thought the best of them."

Mrs Neill was a devoted wife to David and mother to Holly and Scott as well as being a committed member of Lisburn Christian Church, the pastor said.

He added: "She was a spiritual woman. She loved Jesus and lived fearlessly for Him. She read her Bible and was committed to prayer. Heather was an 'ideas' person, always thinking of new and different ways of doing things. She may have been small in physical stature but by any criterion, she was a very big woman with a very big heart.

"We loved Heather. Her family loved her. Her friends loved her. Her church loved her. We will miss her, but her legacy lives on.

"Heather is absent from her body but present with her Lord. No longer any struggle, no longer any pain, no more tears, no more mourning."

Mrs Neill's remains were taken to Roselawn Crematorium following the service.

Belfast Telegraph

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