Former DUP MLA mourns ‘big-hearted’ sister

Karyn Wilson
Karyn Wilson

A DUP councillor has paid tribute to his “big-hearted” sister, who has died suddenly.

Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor Jonathan Craig, a former member of the Assembly, said his family has been left “absolutely devastated” after his sister, Karyn Wilson, passed away at her home in Dromore on Tuesday, May 9.

Mrs Wilson, a 46-year-old mother of one, collapsed after suddenly becoming unwell.

Her husband, Damian, made frantic efforts to revive her, but sadly she passed away.

With the post-mortem examination having been inconclusive, Mr Craig said the family will have to wait three to six months for the results of tests carried out to determine the cause of death.

“To me personally it isn’t really that important to know what happened, it will not bring my sister back and that’s the unfortunate thing,” he said.

Hundreds of people gathered at Ballykeel Baptist Church on Saturday morning for Karyn’s funeral, during which her 19-year-old daughter Danielle read a moving tribute.

“I honestly don’t know at this moment how to put into words the woman that my mother was, no simple words would do her life justice. Her bubbly personality lit up rooms,” she said.

Paying tribute to Karyn, Mr Craig said she was well known in the Lisburn and Dromore areas, having worked for 12 years as a secretary in Lisburn Health Centre, and before that as a legal secretary at McCombe Solicitors in Lisburn.

For the last few years she had worked in Mr Craig’s office, carrying out secretarial work and dealing with the public.

“The biggest tribute of all was paid by her daughter, Danielle. She talked about her mum having a big heart and she’s absolutely right,” the DUP man said.

“Karyn was one of these selfless people that didn’t think about herself.

“She thought about her daughter, she thought about her husband and about her wider family circle.

“In many respects she always put others first, sometimes to her own detriment.

“She had to be reminded that she had to look after herself as well.

“She was a big-hearted person really and I think one of the biggest tributes of all was the sheer number of people who knew her and had worked with her and were at the funeral to pay their respects.”