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Retired herdsman George Patterson had farming in his blood

The death of George Patterson, retired farmer

Retired farmer George Patterson – who has died aged 89 in Jerrettspass – had one of the best known dairy herds in County Down until it was wiped out by brucellosis in 1980.

But George, who lived in the farmhouse at Lissummon Road in the townland of Searce all his life, was determined to start all over again. He waited for a year and then set up a beef herd of Charolais cattle.

"And dad was a success all over again," says his only son Gordon.

"He learned all his farming skills from his father George Senior, from whom he inherited the acreage. Dad loved the farm and the house where his mum Agnes gave birth to him."

George was 75 when he decided to retire from the land for good, and he and his wife Helen relaxed and spent their retirement travelling, including a visit to Indiana in the US to see their daughter Moira and her family.

During long winter evenings with neighbours, George used to tell stories about World War Two when he and young friends used to watch the German bombers following the rail track from Dublin to Belfast during the Blitz.

George was baptised in Jerrettspass Presbyterian Church and worshipped there most of his life, becoming an elder in adulthood, before moving in later years to Downshire Road Presbyterian Church in Newry.

His funeral service was held in the Downshire Road place of worship, conducted by the Rev Brian Colvin.

He was buried in the cemetery of 1st Drumbanagher and Jerrettspass Presbyterian churches.

George is survived by his wife Helen, son Gordon, daughter Moira and five grandchildren.

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