Category: Obituaries

Sandra Hamlett (nee Potter) 1946 – 2019

On Monday, 4 November 2019, my third cousin Sandra died after a short illness. Born in Liverpool, she was the eldest child of Wilfred and Joan Potter. In 1963 at the age of 17 she and her parents emigrated to Australia, where she settled, married and raised her family.

Sandra and I were kindred spirits and genealogy enthusiasts. We researched family stories and brought together distant members of our extended family from across the world. The most significant story related to the separation of her Great Grandfather from his brother when they were orphaned.   See

I never met Sandra but we corresponded regularly and I felt we knew each other. I loved her food posts on Facebook. We had planned to meet in Australia’s Gold Coast next year. I and many others will miss her.

My thoughts go out to her partner Rod, her brother Barry and her family. Her family history research leaves a significant legacy.  

Margaret, Bob & Jenny

Margaret Prottey           Bob Loughman           Jenny McCartney

September 2017 was both a wonderful month and a sad month. We got away for the first time in four years and met up with our daughters, Louise and Rebecca, in New York. Unfortunately we also said goodbye to three very dear people:

 St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York is magnificent. Although I’m of a different persuasion, I paid my respects to all three by lighting a candle for each of them.

 Margaret J Prottey (nee Dennis) 1944 – 2017

Margaret, a cousin of Petrina, died on Friday 8 September.  She was born in Manchester and married Mike Prottey in 1983.  For a period they lived in Perth, Western Australia before eventually returning to the UK to set up home in North Wales. She and Mike were devoted to each other.

Margaret had been ill for some time and was in a care home. The family admired Mike’s devotion. He visited daily and attended to her needs. Margaret loved family events and visited Ireland a number of times.

Robert (Bob) E Loughman 1918 – 2017

Bob was a brother-in-law of my late Aunt, Mary McCabe. He died at Heritage Assisted Living in Battle Creek, Michigan on 10 September. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and was honourably discharged after the war in 1945.  He was very proud of his war time service. Bob met his future wife, Grace McCabe, while he was stationed in Ireland and returned to Michigan with Grace to set up home and start a family.

Bob had a wicked and sometimes irreverent sense of humour. We shared a love of genealogy and he embraced new technology. He was fun to be with and correspond with. I only met Bob once when he and his daughter, Mary Anne, visited Belfast but through our correspondence I feel we knew each other a long time.

Jennifer (Jenny) M McCartney (Kendal) 1947 – 2017

Jenny was my cousin and daughter to Tommy Kendal and Margaret Cranston. She died at Beaconsfield Hospice on 16 September 2017.  She was wife to the late Jimmy McCartney and mother of Leigh. She was a very proud and devoted Grandmother to Jordon and Dylan.

I have such fond memories of Jenny. She was very bright, eloquent, considerate and attractive. I recall she and Jimmy would babysit me during their courtship.I visited her two days before she died. She remained dignified and selfless to the end.

William John Beck, 1928 – 2017

Bill Beck, (my Uncle Bill) died this week. He was the widower of Jessie Kendal (1929 – 1972) and father of John, Ann and Brian. My Father, Sammy Kendal, met Bill during their service with the RAF. They weren’t just brothers in law, they were lifelong friends. They were too young for war-time service and were posted to the Isle of Sylt, a nudist colony in Northern Germany. Why are we are surprised they had such happy memories??? Bill became a foreman welder in the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast.

He was fun to be with and will be missed.


Mairead McCann

Mairead McCann, nee Martin (1952 – 2016) 

Mairead PortaitOn Thursday 7 April, a friend of mine, Mairead, died after a short illness. Born in Belfast she was the second eldest child of Hugh and Margaret Theresa Martin. She married her husband John McCann in 1976. They subsequently had four children, Jenny, Chris, Laura and Kate, and five grandchildren, Ciara, Eimear, Conor, Charlie, Aoife and Matthew.  

Mairead was devoted to John, her family and her extended family. She was fun loving and a pleasure to be with. We began researching her family tree two years ago. Mairead and I, along with her grandson Charlie, would often meet for coffee in Belfast’s Linenhall Library and discuss our latest findings. Her enthusiasm and family stories were a joy. I only knew Mairead for a short time but I will miss her. Her family history research leaves a significant legacy.  

My thoughts go out to John, their family and the wider family circle.