Lady Heather Gorman

Lady Heather Gorman

9 August 2017

THE funeral took place in Killyleagh Parish Church on Monday of Lady Heather Gorman, wife of the late Sir John Gorman.

Lady Gorman, who was 93, passed away peacefully in Ringdufferin Nursing Home on July 25. She was the mother of Angela, Johnny, Rosanagh and the late Justin.

Her late husband was a decorated war hero, a former chief executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the first Roman Catholic to represent the Ulster Unionist Party in the Northern Ireland Assembly. He died in 2014, aged 91

Lady Gorman was born Norah Heather Caruth in Ballymena on May 3, 1924, and was one of four sisters

During World War 2 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and served as a plotter during the Battle of Britain. Invalided out of the WAAF with pleurisy, she returned to Northern Ireland and took on the role of governess to Lord and Lady Antrim’s children, Christina and Hector.

She married her husband at Hampton Court and the couple were soon to be blessed with four children.

In 1960 the future Sir John was headhunted by BOAC— as British Airways was then called — and appointed Head of Security. His service with the airline led to the couple living in England, Canada and India.

After 20 years away from Northern Ireland the couple returned to Northern Ireland in 1979 when Sir John was appointed chief executive of the Housing Executive.

They set up home at Rademon, near Crossgar, and later in Killyleagh. During this time Lady Gorman immersed herself in voluntary work. She acted as a volunteer in the Hospice shop in Ballynahinch, became a guide at Castle Ward and was actively involved with the Riding for the Disabled Association.

She and her husband enjoyed spending time at a holiday home on the Greek island of Skiathos where they were able to relax.

In 2013 the couple moved to Ringdufferin Nursing Home where Sir John died three years ago.

Monday’s largely attended funeral service was conducted by the Rev Colin Darling. A tribute to Lady Gorman was read by her son, Johnny. Following the service cremation was at Roselawn.

The sympathy of the community is extended to the family circle.