There was huge turn out last Wednesday at the funeral of 28-year-old Lurgan man Mark Wing, a big brother in every sense of the word.
Mark, known as Winger, was the eldest of four children born to Andy and Margaret Wing and a father of two. He will be remembered as a fiercely loyal man who stood up for his friends and put his family above everything.
Mark’s sudden death on February 1, thought to be from a heart-related illness, came as a terrible shock to his family and the community in which he lived.
His funeral took place on Wednesday in Lurgan Elim Church, a day after the fourth birthday of his son Tyler.
Such was size of the crowd attending his parents’ house, the church and the graveside to pay their respects to Mark, both the Avenue Road and Banbridge Road had to be closed for a time.
Since the age of 14 Mark had been a bandsman with several local bands including Craigavon Protestant Boys and Lurgan Pioneers as well as flute bands in Maghaberry, Lisburn and Magheralin. In recent times he’d been devoted to teaching young people to play the flute.
He was a man who was extremely proud of his heritage and culture and was also a member of the Avenue Road Somme Society, who flanked Mark’s coffin as his funeral service.
In his youth he played football for Loughgall and Lurgan Institute before retiring from the game. He remained a familiar face in local football, lending his support to his brothers Chris and Adam. As well as following local football he also had a love of Manchester United.
Mark had set up home in Magheralin, but was never a stranger in his parents’ home on the Avenue Road.
He loved spending time with his children - Ellie (7) and Tyler, who turned four last Tuesday, the day before Mark’s funeral.
His mum Margaret said: “Family was number one to Mark. No matter what happened his first concern was his family.
“It was last Christmas he started having chest pains. He’d been going for tests for the past year. Through it all he had a great outlook. Mark has a great sense of humour.”
His dad Andy added: “He didn’t live long, but he lived life to the full. I don’t think he realised how many friends he had.
“I remember for his 21st he didn’t want us to book anywhere because he was worried no one would turn up. We had a party in the house instead which we’ll never forget.
“He didn’t realise how many people liked and respected him. His funeral proved that.”
Mark is survived by his two brothers Chris (26) and Adam (16) and his sister Becky (15).
Margaret commented: “He never fought with his brothers and sister. He was very protective of his family and his friends. He was like a big brother to everyone.”
Andy said: “He was described by one person who came round here to pay their respects as a ‘lovable rogue’. That’s him down to a tee.”
The family thanked all Mark’s friends for the wonderful send off they gave him and the support they’ve given the family circle.
Mark was buried last Wednesday in Lurgan Cemetery. He has left his family and friends with many happy memories from the past 28 years.