To Dad: See you in heaven, God willing
There were many kind words spoken about Jim Joe O'Connor down through the years - words like 'devoted husband', 'real family man' and 'gentleman'.
Dad was a much loved and central figure within a large family circle and was well thought of by all who knew him.
He was a modest man but had a great sense of humour and was always ready with a joke.
He loved his sport and was a pretty good dart thrower in his day. He would tell us “Always shake your opponent's hand win, lose or draw”.
Dad also had a great love of music and song and was a half-decent musician himself. He played the piano and liked nothing more than a get-together for a wee drink and sing-song.
He will be remembered by many as an avid Liverpool fan, and also had a great love for St Helen’s rugby club. This stemmed from his time spent as a boy living in Liverpool.
As a young man, Dad returned to Ballynahinch where he met Patsy and they were blessed with six children, 16 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great, great-grandchild, of whom he was very proud.
Dad, who died aged 82 on February 18, spent a lot of his life working in Purdysburn Hospital where his caring nature was well placed and he made a lot of great friends.
He was also devoted to Mum and his family.
Mum and Dad were married for 54 years until she passed away in 2013. They always did their best to teach us the important values in life and we were raised knowing what it meant to be loved.
On our parents' headstone there is an inscription referring to the Latin phrase Deo Volente (DV for short), which means 'God willing'.
It is something our parents would often add at the end of a conversation, believing that nothing should be taken for granted and it is God’s will that shapes all our lives.
It was that belief and faith that helped them deal with many challenges and face their illnesses with such strength and bravery.
So Dad and Mum, God bless you both and we will “see you in heaven, DV”.