Samuel Crawford was one brightest lights in congregation, says minister
THE funeral of a Co Down man who died while climbing the UK’s highest mountain will take place on Tuesday.
Samuel Crawford will be buried in Movilla cemetery in his home town of Newtownards following a service at Sandown Free Presbyterian Church in east Belfast.
The married 28-year-old was on Ben Nevis with other climbers last Tuesday when he is understood to have fallen around 300 metres and sustained fatal injuries.
Mr Crawford was due to become a father later this year. He was with his two best friends, Conor Bannister and Stephen McVeigh, when he slipped and fell on the mountain.
Mr Bannister, who was bestman at his wedding, posted this: “My best friend, gone to be with his Saviour. Love you Sam, never forget you.”
Mr Crawford is survived by his wife Sophie, parents David and Shirley, and his sisters Rachel, Rebecca and Hannah.
Ahead of his funeral, Reverend Garth Wilson, from Sandown Free Presbyterian Church expressed “heartfelt sympathies” to the family
“As Samuel’s minister, I want to express my heartfelt sympathies to his dear wife Sophie, his parents, and his sisters,” he posted.
“Little did I think when I said goodbye to him on Sunday night after church, that we would never see him again on this earth.
“First and foremost Samuel was a Christian, saved and born again and living for Christ. He had a very strong and sincere faith in Christ.”
“He was one of the brightest lights in our congregation in Sandown and we will miss him terribly.”
Rev Wilson added: “Samuel was fantastic husband to Sophie and he would have been the best father to their little unborn child. He was also a great son and brother and was loved by so many.”
Among the many other tributes was a tweet from Strangford DUP assembly member Peter Weir, who wrote: “Terribly tragic to hear of the loss of Samuel Crawford from Newtownards who has died on a climb of Ben Nevis.
"Samuel leaves behind a young widow who is expecting their first child.”
Samuel was one of a group of 24 climbers who got into difficulty on the 4,400 feet tall mountain on March 8.
Lochaber and Glencoe Mountain Rescue were helped in their rescue efforts by a group of soldiers who were also climbing to the summit that day.