Tributes to former DUP councillor Woolsey Smith who has died

Woolsey Smith
Woolsey Smith

The funeral of a highly respected former Portadown councillor, Woolsey Smith, is to take place today.

Mr Smith, who was aged 88, had served on Craigavon Borough Council for 12 years, and had been a DUP stalwart . He was one of the first to set up the party in the Upper Bann area.

His son Robert followed him into politics and was a member of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council for several years.

A devout Christian, Mr Smith attended Bethany Free Presbyterian Church and was regarded as an inspirational member of the congregation.

He passed away on Saturday at Craigavon Area Hospital after a long illness. His family were with him when he passed away.

Party colleague Cllr Stephen Moutray said: “I personally knew Woolsey for over 30 years and served with him on Craigavon Borough Council for 12 years. Woolsey was a people person and he cared for people no matter who they were or where they came from.

“He was a genuine man who lived every day to serve his Saviour.

“His quiet humble nature endeared him to everyone who met him.

“He will be missed by many in different walks of life but his life will have touched many.”

Family friend, Neil Robinson said he was very saddened at losing Mr Woolsey Smith MBE.

"A gentleman who was a true friend to me, my family and indeed the local community and wider area," he said.

"Growing up I had the privilege of attending Woolsey's Friday Night Children's Meeting and have fond memories of sitting in Woolsey's meetings and going on outings. But also as I grew into my teen years I began to help Woolsey with his Pensioners Rights Group which he held monthly at Killicomaine Community Centre which was a great opportunity for Woolsey to engage with those folk who knew him all their lives mostly.

"I also had the pleasure of being at Woolsey's side in my younger days during many an election campaign when he stood in for local council and always made his mark and got elected as a local Councillor and Alderman to Craigavon Borough Council.

"He was a true ambassador for everyone and everything. One campaign I will always fondly remember Woolsey for was being the spearhead for the Pelican Crossing at Edenderry Fold.

"Woolsey will always be remembered as a true and faithful servant who showed a very strong christian love in life and I know now that he has fought the good fight and won the race he is reunited with his dear wife, Mabel.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his whole family and extended family circle at this sad time trusting that they will see how much Woolsey not only as a Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather was admired but was respected by many as a true friend, stalwart, community worker and indeed a man of God."

Mr Smith was predeceased by wife Mabel and is survived by sons Stephen, Robert, Gordon and David and daughters Christine and Sharon.

His funeral service will take place at Bethany Free Presbyterian Church today (Monday) at 12.30pm followed by interment in Kernan Cemetery.