Tragic Margaret ‘a great person’

John Evans  at his wife's (Margarets) funeral after a service in Portstewart Presbyterian Church on Tuesday
John Evans at his wife's (Margarets) funeral after a service in Portstewart Presbyterian Church on Tuesday

The packed funeral of a well-liked businesswoman has heard that the struggle to come to terms with her “traumatic end” continues.

An estimated 400 to 500 mourners attended the service at Portstewart Presbyterian Church for Margaret Evans, who was found dead last Wednesday in Portstewart.

She had run the Madam Margo hair salon and among those in attendance were fellow entrepreneurs and long-time customers.

DUP councillor Mark Fielding was among those present and said: “It’s quite a large church inside and it was packed, both downstairs and the gallery with a lot of people from Portstewart – businesspeople and customers of Mrs Evans from all walks of life.”

There was also an elderly lady from Belfast who was believed to be the first customer that the late Margaret ever had.

Mr Fielding said she would have paid her first visit a great many years ago, and had opted to keep going back ever since.

The service was led by Reverend Terry Laverty, accompanied by two ministers from Coleraine Independent Methodist Church – Eric Stewart and Mark Mander.

She had attended both churches, and the now-retired Rev Stewart had known her family for about a quarter of a century.

“My message to the people was of the professionalism I saw,” he said, noting that she had turned her business into a “household name”.

He described her as “just a great person”, adding: “She had come to faith in Christ during the time of my ministry in the church. That, of course, gave us a special bond with them as a family.

“That her bubbly earthly life should have such a traumatic end is one of the stark incongruities we haven’t yet come to terms with.”

Opening with Psalm 23, her funeral service drew to a close with: ‘How Great Thou Art’. She was buried in Portstewart Cemetery.

Police launched murder inquiry

Margaret Evans, 69, had been found dead by the side of her house.

Police had said they were treating it as murder, and on Monday it emerged that a 32-year-old man – understood to be her son – who had been arrested in relation to her death was released from police custody, but detained under the Mental Health Act.

Her other children were present at her funeral yesterday.