One of Londonderry’s most acclaimed singers who performed on stages throughout the world but felt most at home in the choirbox of his local church has died at the age of 92.
William Loughlin MBE, who rose from being a laundryman to wowing audiences in many parts of the world, and accompanied the legendary Josef Locke on stage in his home town, passed away on February 3.
Willie was a member of First Derry Presbyterian Church choir for more than seven decades, and was also a regular feature of remembrance services in the city.
He once said that, even though he had sung in venues around the world, the Ulster Hall in Belfast, with its unique acoustics, was special to him.
But he added: “However, there is no place to match First Derry and its choirbox.”
Well-known local historian and resident of The Fountain, Trevor Temple was among those paying tribute. He posted a video of Willie singing Wind in the Willows on Facebook, adding: “Saddened to hear of the passing of Londonderry singing legend, William Loughlin.”
William Loughlin was left fighting for his life following a suburban Toronto car crash that killed his wife Ruby and injured three of his sisters in Canada in 1993.
The funeral notices notes that William Loughlin was the father of Kenneth, Allen, Paul and the late Anne, father in law of Sylvia, Johanna, Bernadette and Raymond. He was also a devoted grandfather and great grandfather to Janeen, Shona, Joanne, Nia, Ian, Rebecca, Zoe, William, Alastair and David.
The funeral leaving his late home at Church Brae near Drumahow at 1.15pm on Sunday, February 10, for 2pm service in First Derry Presbyterian Church followed by a private committal in Altnagelvin Cemetery.
The house is strictly private.