Family man who was held in high esteem

Brian Jenkinson. INPT35-016
Brian Jenkinson. INPT35-016

Brian Jenkinson, who has died aged 47, was first and foremost a family man, and his passing has left a void in the lives of those who knew and loved him.

Brian passed away in Craigavon Hospital on August 11, having been diagnosed with cancer just six months previously.

Originally from the Lough Road, Brian attended Lurgan Model PS and Lurgan Junior High School.

The only son of Joan and the late Billy Jenkinson, Brian left school at 16 to join his dad at Morton Newspapers where Billy was production manager.

Brian took up a post as an apprentice compositor, with the company paying for him to attend a one-day course in origination at the University of Ulster.

In those days, Morton’s head office was based at Windsor Avenue, and the craic and camaraderie was legendary.

Brian worked for the company for more than 30 years, witnessing many changes, including the eventual replacements of ‘comps’ by graphic designers.

In 2011 he was made redundant but returned 18 months later when more work became available.

And it was at Morton’s that Brian met his future wife Tracie, who was working in the advertising departments of Farm Week and later, the Craigavon Echo.

The pair starting go out together in 1994.

At that stage, Tracie had two young children, Lauren and Scott, and Brian stepped into the role of their father - a role which would have proved too daunting for a lesser man.

Fatherhood was a responsibility he took seriously and he devoted himself to Tracie and the children with energy and selflessness.

Brian and Tracie were married in Florida in 2007 and were accompanied on the two-week, trip-to-remember by Lauren and Scott, Brian’s mum Joan and Tracie’s parents Frank and Ruby Troughton, after which the newly-weds enjoyed a Caribbean cruise.

The couple lived in Woodview Avenue on the Tandragee Road, Portadown for a number of years while they built their own house at Whitesides Hill, moving into it in 2003. Their daughter Jess was born in 2010, completing their family.

Brian was a keen footballer in his youth, representing various teams and playing up until he was 40. He also enjoyed squash.

One of his greatest passions was Formula 1 motor racing and for his 40th birthday, Tracie surprised him with a trip to the Grand Prix in Monaco.

Brian and Tracie, along with daughter Jess, also enjoyed a fantastic holiday in Spain last year - one of the many wonderful memories the family is now holding close.

Brian had volunteered for Portadown Cares for the past three years. In his final months, Brian never complained, despite his suffering, and thought only of his family and their welfare.

Around 130 people, including a big crowd from Morton’s Newspapers, attended Brian’s funeral service in Mullavilly Parish Church. He was interred afterwards in the churchyard.