THE sudden death of a Richhill man “leaves a void that cannot be replaced” his Orange lodge has said.
Adrian Turbitt (46), a father of two and a past master of Ballyleaney Purple Star LOL 11, passed away after taking unwell on Sunday of last week.
Richhill Presbyterian Church was filled to capacity for Thursday’s funeral service, with extra seating having to be brought in to accommodate the mourners.
Members of the lodge formed a guard of honour as the funeral cortege made its way from the church to Orchard Cemetery and small Ballyleaney crosses were inserted at the graveside.
A spokesperson for the lodge said Adrian, or ‘Adi’ as he was known to many, had been a dedicated and hardworking member of LOL 11 since 1999.
He was appointed Worshipful Master in January 2015 and held the post for two years, during which time he proved to be very popular, with the lodge enjoying continued growth under his leadership.
“He was also very much involved in the regeneration work at the hall, spending long hours working on the project replacing the floor and creating a new toilet block and extension, not to mention many evenings attending meetings on funding and grants available,” said the spokesperson.
“If something needed done Adi was always there to lend a hand. That’s just the type of guy he was.”
The lodge has always been a family affair for the Turbitts.
Mr Turbitt’s late father William (Billy), who was in the UDR, was a member up until his murder by the IRA 40 years ago.
His brothers Rodney, Godfrey and Graham are also members, as is his nephew Josh, while his wife Karen and children Beth and Will are regular attenders at the hall for all sorts of functions and 12th of July celebrations.
Mr Turbitt also had a passion for Lambeg drums and, as a member of Ballyleaney Drumming Club, was heavily involved in the Turbitt family tradition of ‘the drums’.
The spokesperson added: “On behalf of the officers and Brethren of LOL 11 we send our deepest condolences to Adrian’s wife Karen, children Beth and Will, brothers Rodney, Godfrey, Graham and wider family circle.”
Mr Turbitt is also survived by his mother Margaret.
DUP MLA William Irwin has spoken of his sadness and shock following the death of Mr Turbitt.
He said: “Adrian was someone who was very well respected and well liked by many people in the community. He will be so greatly missed by his wife and children and indeed the wider family circle.
“The suddenness of his passing has really shocked and saddened everyone and I extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to the Turbitt family at this very difficult and tragic time.”
The family has asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to NI Chest, Heart and Stroke.