A woman who died while on holiday in Spain to celebrate her 70th birthday had lived a life “filled with good works”, mourners at her funeral has heard.
Freda Wilson, who lived in Stewartstown in Co Tyrone, was a “devoted wife, mother and grandmother” who had worked as a teacher in the rural village of Welchtown across the border in Co Donegal where she had grown up.
The mother of three was hospitalised with a bleed on the brain while on holiday in Malaga, and died in hospital on October 2.
Rev Ivan Dinsmore delivered a touching tribute at her funeral service in Ardstraw Parish Church, Newtownstewart on Tuesday afternoon.
He highlighted her active involvement in “most aspects of the Church’s life” at Kilteevogue Parish Church, including “singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school, amongst many other things”.
She had also been a dedicated charity worker involved with both Cancer Focus and the Red Cross.
Rev Dinsmore said: “When we lose someone we love it is always an occasion for sadness and grief, this is especially true when the person we lost is a dear and much-loved friend.
“Freda was a dear and much-loved friend to us all here in Ardstraw Parish Church. She rarely ever missed a service here, and put her heart and soul into the worship and service of her Lord.”
He described speaking with Mrs Wilson before she left for her holiday.
“All of us were shocked by Freda’s sudden illness and passing,” he said. “I spoke to her at the church door on the Sunday just before she went on holiday. She was her usual cheery happy self. I said I would see her next week. She replied that I wouldn’t and proceeded to tell me that she was going off to Spain to celebrate her birthday.
“She was full of joy and excitement looking forward to her time away, a nice break, some sun and a nice relaxing holiday. I would never have guessed for a second that this would be the last time I would speak to her.
“There is no doubt that Freda’s life was filled with good works and there is also no doubt that her life was characterised by faith. Freda was not just a churchgoer, not just a church worker, she was a believer.
“As well as her teaching Freda was very involved in the life and ministry of Kilteevogue Parish Church, where she was involved in most aspects of the church’s life, including singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school, amongst many other things.
“It was in this church that Freda married Bryan Wilson on August 2 1972 She moved to Newtownstewart, but continued to teach in Welchtown, eventually bringing her sons with her to school.”
Rev Dinsmore added: “As well as the church, Freda was very heavily involved with the work of the Newtownstewart branch of Cancer Focus. Indeed, in death she is still supporting this very worthy cause as the donations in her memory will be given to the work of Cancer Focus.
“In addition to this, Freda volunteered in the Red Cross shop in Omagh. Her charity work was motivated by her faith and her desire to serve God and neighbours. First and foremost, though Freda was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.”
After the service, she was laid to rest at Ardstraw New Cemetery.