Popular Lurgan man Ernie McNickle (68) passed away on September 28 at Craigavon Area Hospital.
He was husband of Eilish, father of Susan and Ali, grandfather of Amy and brother of Anne, Jackie and the late Margaret.
Ernie was born on April 7 1947 to Leslie and Margaret McNickle of Sunnyside,. He spent many happy years living below the railway in both Sunnyside and Garland Avenue. He attended Lurgan Model Primary School and Lurgan Intermediate and developed a keen interest in sport. Ernie played football for Sunnyside Football Club and was wicketkeeper and captain of Victoria Cricket Club.
Ernie spent most of his working life in the textile industry and worked in Clendinnings, Banner Textiles and R.A. Irwin & CO Ltd. It was at Banners that he met his wife Eilish where he was her manager and Ernie often joked that was the only time he was the boss in their relationship. Ernie and Eilish celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on July 4 this year.
Ernie was a great family man and was extremely proud of his two daughters Susan (40) and Ali (37) and granddaughter Amy (11). He was at his happiest when he was surrounded by his family although he often joked that living in a house full of women turned his hair grey.
Ernie had a great sense of humour and was very sharp witted and loved nothing more than ‘taking the hand’ out of people. His family have taken great comfort in being reminded by his many friends of his dry sense of humour and the numerous fun antics he got up to.
Ernie and Eilish have visited Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. They also spent many family holidays along the north coast. Just one month before his death, Ernie and Eilish enjoyed a holiday in Jersey, one of his favourite holiday destinations.
Although Ernie had battled heart disease for over 21 years, he always faced his illness with great courage, pride and dignity.
Ernie was one of life’s gentlemen and will always be lovingly remembered by the entire family.