Particulars of the death in February of Mr. John Walker, The Forge, Ballyward, County Down, Northern Ireland, father of Mrs. Fred Reiss, Grimsby, have just been received.
Mrs. Reiss was with her father during his last illness and remained at her old home The Forge, for several weeks before returning to Canada.
Despite the weight of his 84 years, the late Mr. Walker maintained his mental faculties to the last and had been ailing for only a month previous to his death. A blacksmith by trade, he practised his art at Ballyward for almost 65 years. Many railings and wrought iron works over a wide area remain as a permanent monument to his skill and craftsmanship. In recent years he was supported by the partnership of his son Robert James, who now carries on the family trade at Ballyward.
The late Mr. Walker was a staunch member of the Drumgooland Parish Church and held the office of Church Warden. A Freemason he was recently made an honorary member of Mount Lebanon Lodge, Ballyward.
Five sons and two daughters survive - Ernest and Robert James, Ballyward; Wm. Wilson, John and Norman, all of U.S.A.; Mrs. Sarah Steele, United States, and Mrs. Mary Reiss, Grimsby, Canada. There are also 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The funeral to the family burying ground was largely attended by all creeds and classes in the district.
Mr. Walker as a devoted reader of The Independent, which was sent to him regularly by Mrs. Reiss, and considered it "the grandest little paper in the world".