Pat Cardy faced many trials and difficulties but always had a smile on her face, says pastor at funeral

Pat Cardy was a woman who faced many trials and difficulties in her life, but always had a smile on her face and always kept going, mourners at her funeral heard today.

Andy Cardy (Husband)  carries the coffin with family and Friends during Patricia Cardy's funeral at Hillsborough Elim Church on Thursday..
 Photo Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker Press
Andy Cardy (Husband) carries the coffin with family and Friends during Patricia Cardy's funeral at Hillsborough Elim Church on Thursday.. Photo Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker Press

Her funeral service took place yesterday at Hope (Elim) Church in Hillsborough, and afterwards she was laid to rest beside her daughter Jennifer who was cruelly taken from her by serial killer Robert Black in 1981.

Pastor Jimmy Ritchie told those gathered: “Pat Cardy was one of the most positive and hopeful people I have ever met, and that is no understatement.

“Pat was filled with hope because she knew that death and the grave was not the end.”

He told how Pat and her sister Anne had lost their mother when Pat was just eight.

Not long after, when she was 14, Pat met Andy Cardy, then 13. Pastor Ritchie said it was love at first sight and the pair went on to marry in 1968.

They lived in Milltown housing estate before moving to the house they built (in Upper Ballinderry) and have lived in for 44 years.

When they had been married just a year Pat gave her life to God at a gospel meeting in Lambeg Orange Hall.

Pastor Ritchie said: “Mark was first born, followed by David who died at birth, next was Jennifer and then Philip.

“Pat hadn’t been terribly well and had been advised not to have any more children for health reasons and so Pat was sterilised.”

Despite the sterilisation Pat went on the have another ‘miracle’ baby – Victoria.

The pastor said: “She inspired all of us who knew her and loved her, and all the more because her life was not easy. It was faced with trials and difficulties but Pat always had a smile on her face, she always kept going. She faced everything will faith and courage and never lost hope.”

He said that Pat suffered great pain from type 1 diabetes from a very young age and rheumatoid arthritis, then the couple faced “every parent’s worst nightmare”, when Jennifer was abducted and murdered in 1981.

He said: “The murder of Jennifer Cardy shook the whole of the country.

“Three decades passed before child serial killer Robert Black was tracked down.

“Down through those years where other people would have been wrecked with bitterness Pat and Andy recognised that while Robert Black had taken their child’s life he wasn’t going to destroy their life with bitterness.

“Many of you will have heard their testimony, many will have read Pat’s book, it’s a story of triumph over tragedy.

“Their testimony and forgiveness has been an example to all.”

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry

Editor