A kindly woman who put her heart and soul into her family and community, many have said of the late Sarah (Sally) Walker that there will never be her like again.
Born Sarah Leith, her early life remains a mystery though it is known she was born in the Moy area and was subsequently put up for adoption. However she ended up in an orphanage.
Miraculously in the 1980s two women called Sheila and Rosemary from Co Antrim were told, when they were due to renew their passports, that they had a sister. Following some research it was discovered that the sister was Sally Walker and all three met up at a special reunion.
Though to the surprise of her new sisters, Sally revealed that she believed they had yet another sister but had no idea where she was.
In 1989 the sisters went on to Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise TV show to ask for help in finding their long lost sibling. And to their own surprise the show had already found her and reunited all the family.
Sally’s son John said: “We all watched it on TV. She was thrilled to have found them all.”
Sally married Johnny Walker, a printer at Clendinnings in Lake St and the family lived in Hill St before moving to Wakehurst and then Mourneview.
Mrs Walker had four children, John, Cherie, Raymond and Tracey and lived a full life within her community, contributing extensively to various groups and helping neighbours and friends.
She was involved with both the Gateway Club and the Chest Heart and Stroke Foundation. So steeped in these organisations Craigavon Borough Council honoured her with a special award for her services to charity.
Her son John said; “She was kind beyond belief. She would have went out of her way to help her neighbours and friends.
“She was a loyal friend and a good hearted woman who did everything she could for people.
“Even in her latter years she would have taken some ladies who had health issues on rehabilitation trips to Newcastle.
“I think because she came from such a deprived background, she wanted to give all she could to society,” said John, adding that his mum’s week was packed with activities from with Chest Heart and Stroke club on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Gateway Club on Wednesday as well as bowling on a Thursday at Mourneview Community Centre. She often went to Hoophill to just sit with the elderly, chatting and knitting with them.
Valerie Robinson of Lurgan and Portadown Gateway Club revealed that Sally had never failed to attend their meetings each week for 30 years.
“She was the most faithful person. No one knows how much everyone will miss her. She was the most invaluable member.
“Even at the age of 83 she could put some of us to shame for her energy and support.
“She was the kindest person you could ever meet and so full of fun. Everyone in the group absolutely loved her and she was like a mother hen to everyone. She was something else. There will never be her like again,” said Valerie, adding that it was a shame she was never honoured with an MBE.
Sarah (Sally) Walker passed away in hospital on January 2. She was the wife of the late Johnny and dearly loved mother of John, Cherie, Raymond and Tracey (late of 26 Hannon Drive, Lurgan). Her funeral service was in Lurgan Free Presbyterian Church last Friday. Sally will be sadly missed by her family and many friends.