WILLIAM (Billy) Andrews, who passed away recently, was best known as a local entrepreneur who ran a painting and decorating shop in Union Street.
Billy died suddenly on May 31 at the age of 88.
He was born on July 9, 1923 in Maralin to his mother Susan and father Robbie John.
When he was still young they moved to the Inn Road in Dollingstown which remained the family home with his brother Tommy, who died at Dunkirk in World War Two, sister Sadie, brother Bobby and sister Annie, who sadly died a few years ago.
In 1953 Billy married Jean and the pair enjoyed 59 years of married life together.
Billy is a former pupil of Dollingstown Primary School and after leaving school he got involved in the business world.
Billy along with his brother Bobby are best known in the town for running a paint and wallpaper shop in Union Street which opened in the 1960s and also their painting contracting business. He extended his business enterprises by starting Pinewood Products picture framing and also Andbro Construction.
Billy travelled the world to source the best materials for his business ventures and as a result of his hard work, dedication and commitment, his companies expanded.
For example, Pinewood Products employed up to 20 people and used to sell to Selfridges and John Lewis.
As the businesses grew, so did Billy’s generosity and he supported many worthwhile causes and missions. One that was close to his heart was the Greystones Orphanage to the south of Dublin, run by Mrs Mathers, and he supported children through that cause for many years.
Billy also spent many mission trips working with Men For Missions which carried out humanitarian work across Europe. The family have heard many remarkable stories about Billy’s trips and how people’s lives were helped along and about some of the characters he worked with.
Billy had a deep Christian faith and the grace and love he showed to all came from the grace and love he experienced in Christ.
He became a Christian at a mission in Lurgan in the 1940s and it was this faith that shaped his life.
Many will remember Billy Andrews best as a Sunday School teacher at Dollingstown and at Gibson’s Hill or as leader along with his late friend Billy Patterson of the Maralin Mission Hall.
Although not able to be out as much in recent years many will remember his broad smile and gracious nature.
Billy was a well read man with a great sense of humour.
He had an interest in poetry and reading and a great way of taking everything in his stride.
He had time and a smile for everyone he met which was reflected in the large turn out at his funeral.
His family, who always came first for Billy, said they were overwhelmed by the number of people who came to Billy’s funeral last Sunday in Lurgan Baptist Church to offer their support.
Billy will be dearly missed by his wife Jean, children Heather, Paul, Ian and Barbara and grandchildren Stephen, James, Andrew, Michael, Daniel, Rebecca, Joshua, Victoria, Olivia and Grace.