NI farm tragedy: Children were waiting for daddy to come home with ice cream
Mourners at Sunday’s funeral for Co Down farmer Andrew Abraham heard that on the night of his death his children were waiting for him to come home with ice cream.
The 46-year-old father-of-four was killed on Thursday evening in a tragic accident on his dairy farm in Antrim.
On Sunday his family and friends were able to gather in large numbers – relative to lockdown – in an open space behind his home on the Banbridge Road in Waringstown. They also lined the road as the cortege made its way to Blackskull Methodist burial ground.
The outdoor service was led by Rev Darryl Abernethy of Bethany Free Presbyterian Church in Portadown who has known the Abraham family for 11 years going back to his time in Antrim.
Of the turn out for the funeral Rev Abernethy said: “When we came from family home turned left people were lined along the road for what seemed like two miles.
“We were quite taken aback by the number of people lining the road from Waringstown going towards Banbridge. Children from Waringstown Primary School (the school attended by two of Andrew’s children) lined part of route.
“It was a fitting tribute to Andrew.”
Explaining how he got to know Andrew, Rev Abernethy said: “I’d known the family from my time in Antrim, then when I came to Portadown Andrew started to bring his children. The kids came to all the activities in the church.
“Andrew would have attended regularly, he didn’t get to both Sunday services because he would have been milking up in Antrim.”
He said Andrew’s life could be summarised by three Fs – faith, family and farming.
Rev Abernethy said Andrew had professed Christ as Saviour as a young man and that his good family upbringing had allowed him to raise a strong family of his own.
Andrew was the son of John and Eleanor and brother of Karen, Heather and Lyn.
Later he became husband to Alison and father of Jacsen, Brooke, Carter and Farrah.
Rev Abernethy said: “Though quiet, shy and in the background, he was the fun and happy brother in a close-knit family.
“Family foundations at home gave Andrew the basis for his own loving family.
“The love, devotion, care and interest he had for his children was second to none.”
On the night of his tragic death, Rev Abernethy said his children had been waiting for their daddy to come home with ice cream.
He said that Andrew was also devoted to his profession: “He was destined to be a farmer like his father. In primary school he was on tractors, he was always in the yard and about machinery.
“Through farming he developed a love of motorsport – scrambling, go karting and Formula 1.”
After paying tribute to Andrew, whom he described as “one of life’s gentlemen”, Rev Abernethy sought to comfort his family with a Gospel message from Luke 24:29, that the Lord abides with his people in their deepest sorrow and points them to his sacrificial death to deliver us from sin and ultimately triumph over death.
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