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In Memory of Johnny Arlow

In memory of Johnnie Arlow 

21st September 2022

Celebrant: Fr Des Loughran

Without doubt we are here today far too soon. Old age was far from Johnnie’s life, even looking at him in the coffin he still looks so young and full of life, but sadly it was his body that had given it’s all and couldn’t give any more because of the challenging illness he had to endure. Fifty-nine years of age doesn’t seem old enough to die.

Johnnie, I am sure did not want to die and because of the type of guy he was, he has indeed left us with wonderful memories as husband, father, grand-father, brother, uncle, friend and neighbour. At the end of the day, we all have lost something because we have all lost Johnnie.

Partings are never easy and family partings are without doubt the hardest of all.

Johnnie was born to the parents of June and William on the 11th of July 1963 in Toronto, Canada and, Johnnie is only sixteen days older than me.

Then, in 1971 when Johnnie was eight years old he moved to Banbridge with his father and his brothers and sisters who along with their dad, Billy and aunts Mini and Sally and uncles Jack and Bobby, Johnnie was loved and grew up.

As a wee boy Johnnie enjoyed trips with his family to Newcastle as well as visiting family in Belfast throughout the dark days of the troubles. Due to Johnnie curiosity and sense of adventure all bus journeys were filled with excitement.

As a child, Johnnie attended Second Street School and then Abercorn Primary School followed by Banbridge High School. And believe it or not, Johnnie was the only child in Banbridge to have an orchard at his disposal and could produce apples by the bucket and Maggie could rustle up a tart in no time at all.

While Johnnie attended Banbridge High School he got a part-time job in Campbell’s Bar in Banbridge.

Upon leaving school Johnnie served his time as an apprentice upholsterer and during his time as an upholsterer he worked with many upholsterers in the Banbridge area. Johnnie left home and moved into ‘Flat 75’, Brookfield, where the term ‘Party Central’ was born and where his love of music became known to many and by many.

In time Johnnie changed jobs and then worked for Titan Tanks in Seapatrick where he worked for thirty-three years where he was much loved and respected by all who crossed his path there.

Love came into Johnnie life and he married Catherine in 1989 and born to them were three adorable young boys who also gained their beautiful older sister, Lyndsey.

Family life took off and so did Johnnie. He loved his family and life too, as he Golfed, played Pool. Sadly, he was a Man United supporter. The Mersey Side Red is much brighter and better but, like myself Johnnie enjoyed music too. I like listening to it with a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout while Johnnie like to listen with a Genuine Bottle of Miller. Nothing less would do.

He loved to go to his caravan and also to Harvey’s Point in Co. Donegal, to say the least, a very beautiful place.

Johnnie was very house proud and worked hard keeping a beautiful home for his family. He did everything, from painting and decorating, to upholstering and gardening. In-fact, I am sure you are all aware that he built a Bar in his back garden at Halls Mill Green called, ‘The Maple Leaf’.

Proud as he was to be a Canadian, but I think the building of, The Maple Leaf Bar, was the real sign that Johnnie was truly at home in Laurencetown. The only thing that was missing from the front door was: A Ford Mustang, his favourite car.

Johnnie was without doubt a loving family man who lived life to the full. He loved his wife and sons the and the banter between them was good.’ He enjoyed watching his sons play Gaelic Football and he even found time to love his dog ‘Buddy’ and his cat ‘Jessie’ and sadly today he leaves his earthly home to go to his heavenly home as Jesus tells us about in the gospel.

What, will Johnnie not do with that room in heaven. What home will he not make out of it, there?

So, until it comes our time to be with Johnnie again, let us simply pray: Eternal Rest grant into him, O Lord and let perpetual light shine on him. May he rest in peace. 

I would just like to offer my sympathies to Johnnie’s wife, Catherine, also to his wonderful witty sons, Conor, Matthew and David and to his daughter Lyndsey and also to Bert and to his two grand-sons Logan and Lucas.

To Johnnie’s sister Margaret and brother Joey and to all Johnnie’s brothers and sisters-in-law, John, Carole, Pat, Maureen and Alan and also to all Johnnie’s nieces and nephews, cousins, neighbours, friends and work colleagues, assuring you of my prayers and support.

 

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