One of Newtownhamilton’s and indeed life’s gentlemen passed away peacefully on Thursday surrounded by his loving family.
James ‘Jim’ Steen was a well-respected and much-loved man in the village and across the wider area.
Newry and Mourne Classic Vehicle Club paid tribute to their oldest member.
Martin O’Hare, the Club’s secretary, said: “It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that James Steen, our oldest club member and vintage vehicle enthusiast, peacefully passed away this morning at Daisy Hill Hospital, in the presence of his beloved daughter, Elaine.
“She has been caring for her father, since his wife June, passed away in December 2012. Elaine and her family moved back to the family home in Newtownhamilton to provide loving support and excellent care for him and James really appreciated this.
“James was one of life’s gentlemen and always had a good word for everyone, an accomplished mechanic, he assisted his father and eventually ran the family garage, bus and taxi service in Newtownhamilton.
“He had a wealth of experience and knowledge, which he willingly shared. A keen club member and supporter of the vintage movement he will be fondly remembered driving his Ford Anglia 105E to attend events throughout Ireland.
“In later years, with failing sight eventually developing to blindness, James still supported club meetings and events, with his wife June driving them in her Ford Fiesta Mark 1.
“James will be sadly missed not only by the vintage movement but within many sporting circles, as he excelled in football, table tennis and fishing.
“Indeed in his youth he was an accomplished athlete and competitor who could excel in any sporting activity he chose to undertake.
“He also encouraged young people to participate in sport and managed youth teams and events to avail them of new opportunities and development. James also supported and worked with many charities and organisations, through his long life.”
Others added their own tribute.
Martin McCann commented: “A gentleman in every way, and no other words could ever describe him better! His great work for the Gateway Club in his red transit can never be forgotten.
“Loved his football and vintage cars, the same as myself and he always had a lot of time for me at vintage rallies as my dad and him were great friends through football and he always asked about him every time we met.
“A big empty space in Newtownhamilton, but hopefully Steen Park will bring the respect and memories that that this man deserves. RIP Jimmy. Condolences to his daughter Elaine and the rest of his family.”
Louise McCall added: “Your Dad made Newtownhamilton a better place to grow up in. He had incredible patience driving awfully giddy groups of us to Newry swimming pool.”
James was the dearly loved husband of the late June, much loved and devoted father of Elaine (Glenny) and the late infant twins Evelyn and Edward, father-in-law of Geoffrey and beloved grandfather of Andrew, Callum and Ewan.
Funeral from his home, 21-23 Dundalk Street, Newtownhamilton on Sunday at 2-30pm for service in Second Newtownhamilton Presbyterian Meeting House at 3-00pm followed by interment in the adjoining burial ground.
Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu if desired for Second Newtownhamilton Presbyterian Church (C.D. Ministry) cheques made payable to Jackson Stoops & Sons, Funeral Directors, 44 Moy Road, Armagh BT61 8DL
Very deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter, son in law, grandsons and the entire family circle.