Tributes to late Tony Elliott

Tony Elliot
Tony Elliot

Highly respected retired teacher and Vice Principal, Tony Elliott has passed away after decades of service to the local community.

Mr Elliott, who was Vice Principal of St Mary’s Junior High School in Lurgan, died peacefully at Lisnisky Care Home on March 29 surrounded by his loving family.

He had been a geography and maths teacher at the school from 1967 before retiring in 2002. He was made head of the geography department before becoming vice principal in 1988.

After 35 years service at the school, with 15 years as vice principal, Tony retired.

Originally from Derrygonnelly in Co Fermanagh, Tony attended St Patrick’s Grammar School in Armagh were he excelled academically and as a gaelic footballer.

Later he joined the staff at St Mary’s JHS in Lurgan and developed a keen interest in golf.

Mr Elliot joined the SDLP in its founding days and was the backbone of the local constituency.

He became an SDLP councillor on Craigavon Council when he was coopted to replace party colleague Sean McKavanagh.

Throughout his years with the SDLP he worked tirelessly behind the scenes and when Dolores Kelly became an MLA he worked in her office after his retirement from teaching.

Dolores said: “He was a gentleman with a gentle sense of humour. Everyone was devastated at the news of his passing. He had accepted his illness and made the best of his remaining years.

“He will be very sadly missed,” she said.

Music was a huge part of Tony’s life having played guitar and sang in Country Code for many years.

He was passionate about music and was also was a member of a number of choirs locally.

Tony was the beloved husband of Mary Rose, loving father of Roisin, Ciaran, Damien, Sean and Michael, father-in-law to Jonny and Andrea, a much loved grandfather and dear brother of Pat, and brother-in-law of Michael and Pauline.

His funeral was on Sunday at St Peter’s Church with burial afterwards in St Colman’s cemetery.

He will be sadly missed by his entire family circle, former colleagues and many friends.

Donations in lieu of flowers to Alzheimer’s Society NI, c/o McAlinden & Murtagh William St, Lurgan.