Obituary: Stanley Millar was a pillar of his lifelong church

Stanley Millar
Stanley Millar

Stanley Millar MBE was a dedicated churchman who did not let a massive, debilitating rugby injury stand in the way of success.

He died following a short illness on February 7, aged 70, and was hailed by one Methodist minister as a “pillar of the church”.

A rugby enthusiast, he had aimed to go on to become a PE teacher – before disaster struck him down in his youth.

Aged 19, he was on holiday and playing a match with the Omagh Accies squad when his neck was broken.

Initially using crutches to get around, he was later confined to a wheelchair.

It left his career in PE an impossible dream, and he instead became a clerical officer in the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital.

This then led to him becoming chief officer at staff-and-patient watchdog the Western Health and Social Services Council.

In 1995 he was accorded an MBE, and in 2003 he retired from his chief officer post.

In his spiritual life, he held the post of Circuit Steward, meaning he was effectively the senior lay leader in five Methodist churches in the Fintona and Omagh area.

“He was deeply respected by everybody when he held that office,” said superintendant minister the Rev Jo Sweeney.

“Stanley Millar was a pillar of the church. Having been brought up in that church as a young lad, he never left that church. From my point of view, I could say lots. We deeply miss him as a revered member of Omagh Methodist Church.”

He was also a Justice of the Peace, district commissioner for the Omagh Scouts, and heavily involved in the governance of both Omagh Academy and Omagh Primary School.

Born in Belfast on February 28, 1943, he was buried at Dublin Road cemetery in Omagh on February 9.

He is survived by wife Esther, son Colin, daughters Orla and Gail, sisters Sandra and Verona, and his brother Erville.