Mrs. Violet Aiken who lived for her family died peacefully at Craigavon Area Hospital on Friday, December 21, surrounded by their love.

The former Lisbellaw woman started her life in the village on February 24, 1935, and was one of 12 children born to David and Margaret Millar.

She spent her early years there enjoying country life at the family home at Drumad just outside the village and often told tales of being chased by a particularly mean rooster .

Growing up Violet enjoyed the dances which were such a part of life at that time - but often had to sneak out her bedroom window to attend such functions.

She was known as a talented singer and would perform at travelling shows and talent competitions and won prizes.

Away from her social life Violet worked in the textile industry, first at Henderson and Eadie's premises in Lisbellaw - where she was running two looms - and later at the Adria factory in Fermanagh.

Violet then met the love of her life, Ballinamallard man Henry Aiken, and they married in September 1966 after Henry's somewhat unique proposal. Asked what he would do if he won the pools, Henry replied 'I'd marry you." Violet, not missing her chance, said: "Sure you don't have to win the pools to marry me." It was to be the start of a very happy life together and the couple had two sons, Clint and Glenn.

Violet took great pride in her boys, working hard, with Henry always at her side, to give them every possible advantage in life.

The family lived at Queen's Park, Lisbellaw for a number of years but moved to Dollingstown, just outside Lurgan, Co. Armagh in 1978 and quickly became very much part of the fabric of life there.

Violet was a giving person and took up work as a home help assisting a number of elderly people in the village, often going well above the call of duty. For her they were more than clients, they were friends.

After her work as a home help she then began baby-sitting for friends and family around the village, her generous and giving nature very much to the fore.

She quite simply had 'a heart of corn' and nothing was too much trouble for her.

Violet also took great pride in her home at Gilpin Park, it was always spick and span and yet a warm and welcoming place for the family and visitors alike.

She was never one to complain and this was very much in evidence on one occasion when she had a slight accident while cleaning.

As she recovered from her injury her always faithful husband stepped in to take on the household chores, displaying the strong partnership the couple maintained throughout their married life. His fish and white sauce for tea have long since passed into family legend.

Violet quite simply lived for family and when living in Fermanagh it was a weekend routine to visit her brothers and sisters who had moved 'up the country' to Gilford. After the move to Dollingstown the journey reversed as she, Henry and the boys would travel to Lisbellaw to stay in close touch with the family there.

The battles fought on the ludo board with her brother Dessie and sister Gertie could often be heard well beyond the four walls of their respective homes during family get togethers.

In her twilight years Violet's health began to fail but never her good humour. Visits with and from her sons were the highlight of her week.

Unfortunately those health problems mounted up and it all became too much. She was admitted to Craigavon Hospital on Sunday, December 9, where her last battle took place. As the problems mounted against her she passed very quietly and peacefully at ward 2 North in Craigavon Hospital on Friday, December 21.

She was laid to rest in Magheralin Churchyard on Christmas Eve following a service in her home church of St Saviour's, Dollingstown. The funeral arrangements were by Malcomson Funeral Directors.

Violet will be sadly missed by her husband Henry, son Clint and his wife Paula and son Glenn and his fiancee Lisa Thompson. She will also be missed by her brothers Dougie, Dessie and Ernie. She was predeceased by her brothers Wallace, Andy, Davy and Tommy and her sisters Betty, Peggy, Nellie and Gertie.