ONE of Portadown’s best-known characters, Mr Herbert (Herbie) McLoughlin, has died in hospital after a long illness. He had contracted cancer four years ago and had gone into remission, but the illness returned and claimed his life.
Mr McLoughlin, who was 73, was brought up in the Seagoe area of Portadown and, after living in various parts of the town, returned a number of years ago to 4, Seagoe Road, along with his wife Sadie. He is also survived by four sons and a daughter - David (Portadown), Paul (Kilmarnock, Scotland), Caroline (Banbridge), Robert (Portadown) and Douglas (Market Drayton, England). Another daughter, Alice, then 17, died in tragic circumstances in 1991, which affected the family profoundly - a tragedy they never really got over. There are eight grandchildren.
Mr McLoughlin is also survived by two brothers, Bobby (Chelmsford) and Eddie (Portadown). He was pre-deceased by another brother Joe.
The young Herbie McLoughlin attended the former Thomas Street Public Elementary School, which was merged with Church Street School over 40 years ago to form Millington Primary School. The old Thomas Street school now forms part of the Thomas Street Methodist Church buildings - The Wesley Hall.
He suffered a serious accident at Thomas Street, falling out of an upstairs window when he was 11, which necessitated having a steel plate inserted in his skull. But he recovered to lead a full and fulfilling life.
One of his first jobs was as a full-time member of the RUC Special Constabulary, and after that he was employed in the drains division of Craigavon Development Commission at Seagoe Industrial Estate. His next job was in the bricklaying trade, and he worked for Calvert’s of Bleary, and then for various contractors, and finally on a freelance basis with several builders. He also enjoyed joinery, and did private work from his shed behind his home.
Mr and Mrs McLoughlin were wed on New Year’s Day 1974, and as well as their family, they loved the Showbands scene, particularly Dickie Rock and the Miami, and Joe Dolan and the Drifters, going to venues in various parts of Mid Ulster.
They were devoted members of the Bible Pattern Church at Fitzroy Street, which they attended most Sunday nights. And the family members are grateful to Seagoe Parish for permitting the ‘Pattern’ Pastor Leslie Dunlop the use of the church for the funeral. There was a large congregation for a popular and generous member of the Portadown community - it was conducted by Pastor Dunlop.
Mr McLoughlin was interred in the Seagoe Churchyard beside the remains of daughter Alice. His body was transported from his home to the church, by means of a horse-drawn hearse, provided by Joseph Poots, Funeral Directors.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, are to Cancer Research and the Macmillan Nurses, c/o Joseph Poots Funeral Directors, 42 Bridge Street, Portadown BT63 5AE.