A devoted family woman who served the area in many ways

Ingrid Dalzell.
Ingrid Dalzell.

Ingrid Dalzell

They provided a caring, professional service to the local population. ‘Bertie and Ingrid’s shop’ was something of a legend in the Thomas Street and Annagh district and beyond. They weathered the storm of the supermarkets, which could never match their superb, personal touch.

They originally took over the business from the revered Sam Fergus. Stephen Turkington succeeded the Dalzells, remaining a dear friend of the family. The Dalzell family home was a few doors up from ‘the shop’.

They managed to combine family and business life, with Mrs Dalzell’s quiet, never-flustered personality a main ingredient. She is survived by daughters Roberta Morrison (Portadown), Elizabeth Crooks (Lisburn) and son Neil (London). There are two granddaughters, Kerry and Diane.

On top of all that, she played a vital role in the life and times of the Young Farmers’ Movement, Laurelvale Women’s Institute (WI), The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and her church, Armagh Road Presbyterian.

Mrs Dalzell passed away, after a long illness, at Rosemount Care Home, Moy Road, where she had been a resident since June 2012. Thanks to the efforts of the family, the staff of Ann’s Home Care and the Meadows Day Centre, she was able to remain at home as long as was practically possible. The family wishes to thank the various organisations and is especially grateful to Rosemount for the compassionate, professional care their mother received during her three years there.

Francis Ingrid Dalzell (nee Neill) was born on February 3, 1935, the daughter of the late Francis and Elizabeth. She spent her early years at Chestnut Terrace, Ballyworkan. After schooldays at Ballyworkan School, she entered a career in ladies’ fashion retail, initially with Paul’s of High Street, Portadown, followed by Corbetts and Whittens (both Portadown) and then at McMahons of Lisburn which she particularly enjoyed. She had a superb ‘eye’ for fashion, and was always immaculate.

She met Bertie Dalzell through the Young Farmers’ Clubs, Ingrid being in Mullahead (she was assistant leader and press correspondent) and Bertie in Collone. They married in November 1961 at Mullavilly Parish Church - the Rev Fred Gowing officiated – and they moved to Thomas Street, Portadown, where they ran their business for four decades. They moved to their ‘new’ premises, two doors down Thomas Street in 1977, with their home subsequently incorporating the original shop.

Mrs Dalzell’s activities extended far beyond family and business. In the W.I. she was president at Laurelvale on a number of occasions throughout her service (1965-2001) and she was made an honorary member in 2012. She was also an executive member for the Moyallon area, and area chairman which she particularly enjoyed.

Mrs Dalzell’s commitment to the RNIB lasted for 30 years (1971-2001). She became a volunteer when her mother was one of the first patients in Northern Ireland to undergo a laser beam operation to repair a detached retina. She was a fund-raiser through various collections and jumble sales. And her clear, distinctive speaking voice made her ideal as a reader for the Craigavon Talking Newspaper for the Blind.

Her church work lasted her entire life – firstly at Mullavilly where she was brought up, through the Brownies, Guides and church choir – she was confirmed at Mullavilly. When she came to Portadown, she gave unstinting and valued service to Armagh Road – in the Young Women’s Group, the PWA, the church choir, where she sang soprano, and as member of the church committee. Bertie had been a member of the kirk session.

The service of thanksgiving for her life was at Armagh Road on Saturday afternoon. It was conducted by Rev Tony Davidson of First Armagh Presbyterian Church – the church’s minister Rev Christina Bradley of Armagh Road was out of the country. The Bible reading was by family friend Pastor Stephen Matthews.

Daughters Elizabeth and Roberta took part in the service. The hymns were ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ and ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’. The church choir led the music, with Rodney Spence, organist, Ronnie Bothwell, flautist and Anna Nelson, soloist. The choir sang ‘How Great Thou Art’, one of Ingrid’s favourites. Burial was at Mullavilly Churchyard. Donations are to the RNIB, c/o George McNabb, Funeral Directors, 106 Bridge Street, Portadown BT63 5AP.