Tributes paid to Newtownabbey bandsman

Stephen Willis.
Stephen Willis.

Emotional tributes have been paid to Stephen Willis following his death on Saturday, August 23.

Stephen was well known in the local band scene, having been a member of Cloughfern Young Conquerors (CYC) for over a decade before joining the Cloughfern Old Boys.

He was the much loved husband of Lee-Ann and devoted father of Morgan and Harrison. Also precious son of Angela and James-Mark. A cherished brother of Jayne and Jonathon and a much loved uncle.

Paying tribute in a post on social media, a spokesperson for the CYC said: “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we are saying this. This morning we learned of the untimely death of an ex member and current bass drummer of the COB and friend, Stevie Willis.

“Stevie gave 10+ years to the band before leaving due to work and family commitments. To his family we are truly heart broken for you all.”

Passing condolences to Stephen’s family, a spokesperson for Glasgow-based Orange lodge, 213 Rutherglen said: “From all lodge members of LOL 213 Rutherglen, Scotland, our deepest condolences to the immediate family, friends and band members of COB FB.”

On Facebook, one resident said: “Deepest sympathy to the family and friends. He was so young. RIP.”

Another person said: “Thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very sad time. Safe in the arms of Jesus.”

Branding Stephen “a gentleman”, one man said: “This fella was a gentleman. Thoughts are with the family at this sad time.”

A post on the Funeral Times site said: “A service of thanksgiving for Stephen’s life will be held on Thursday, August 29 at noon in Newtownabbey Methodist Mission, 35a Rathcoole Drive, Newtownabbey and afterwards to Carnmoney Cemetery (East).

“Flowers welcome. Refreshments in the church hall after the committal. Everyone welcome.”