Service of Thanksgiving for the life and witness of Jean Murdock
of Ulster Avenue, Dunmurry, was held in Finaghy Baptist Church
last Friday morning (13th July). Pastor Alistair Campbell led
the service. Mrs Olive Donnellan presided at the organ and the
soloist was Mrs Joan Wilson.
In a glowing tribute to Jean, Mr Brice Donnellan recalled a long
and good life that touched and influenced hundreds of other
lives. Born in Belfast on 11th October 1917, Jean Kelly grew up
in the city and the family attended Albert Street Presbyterian
Church. Jean's father died at a comparatively young age and in
1939 the family moved to Dundonald and some time later joined
Dundonald Presbyterian Church. In 1953, Jean married Joe
Murdock, at which point they came to reside at Ulster Avenue,
Dunmurry. They began married life as the proprietors of a petrol
filling station at Kingsway, Dunmurry (just at the end of Ulster
Avenue) where Jean was a tremendous help to Joe in the running
of the business.
Jean was a talented musician and from the mid sixties and for
many years thereafter, she played the organ at Finaghy Baptist
Church and this ministry was precious to her and to those who
were blessed by it. She did so with a devotion which could not
be over emphasized and which was constantly to the glory of God.
On 13th February 1994, Jean lost her beloved husband Joe to
illness and although this was a tremendous blow for Jean to
bear, she did so with calm and tremendous fortitude.
In conclusion, Mr Donnellan read an extract from correspondence
sent from New Zealand by Jean's niece Margaret, 'Jean enjoyed
her friends and family and her wider Church community. For many
years she got great pleasure from her music pupils and for a
long time after 'retiring' from just playing for herself and for
her friends. She often used to say how our parents (and
especially our father) used to love to sing while she played
familiar pieces. Jean took great delight in small things; she
was a good and kind woman.'
In his address, Pastor Campbell spoke of Jean's love for the
Kelly family and explained that at just 9 years of age, Jean
entered another family - the family of God. Referring to a
recent TV programme 'Who do you think you are'' he explained
that if this question was asked of Jean Murdock, the answer
would be that she was a 'Christian who - lived a life of faith;
shared and showed her love of Jesus; learned to listen and walk
with Jesus; and sang and played for Jesus'. Jean's love of Jesus
was aptly summed up in her chosen hymns 'When my life-work is
ended' and 'When all my labours and trails are over' which
contains the wonderful words of promise 'when by His grace I
shall look at his face, that will be glory, be glory for me'.
Pastor Campbell concluded that Jean is now in the presence of
and in sight of her Lord, in a land where she will never grow
Ladies of the congregation served refreshments in the Church
Hall following the service and prior to the committal at
Clandeboye Cemetery, Bangor.