‘Very sad time’ as Whitehead Golf Club mourns loss of two members

Whitehead Golf Club has paid tribute after two esteemed members died within three days of each other.

John Pitcaithley and Bryan Baxter were remembered as popular and committed golfers.

A notice on the Funeral Times website stated that Mr Pitcaithley passed away suddenly on January 6.

It added he was the husband of the late Rita; father of Lisa and Karen; father-in-law of Clive and grandfather to Samuel, Sarah, Erin, Stuart, Scott and Katie.

John Pitcaithley was a member of the club for over 70 years.

In a statement, the club said: “John, who was born in Whitehead in 1936, was a member of Whitehead Golf Club for over 70 years, and even though he hadn’t played for a few years he still retained his playing membership at the club.

“John initially worked at his father’s bookies before working in ICI, Kilroot, until its closure, after which he became the point of contact for getting a round of golf at the Bentra Municipal Golf Course.

“He was a great avid sportsman, having played scrum half for Larne Grammar School and Larne Rugby Club and like most of his family, enjoyed golf, tennis and badminton to a very competitive level.”

Mr Pitcaithley’s funeral Service was held on Thursday, January 12 at Whitehead Presbyterian Church.

Bryan Baxter was a past captain and president of the club.

The club also highlighted the contribution of Mr Baxter, a past captain and president.

A Funeral Times website notice stated Mr Baxter passed away peacefully in hospital on January 9 after a short illness. It added he was the husband of the late Anne; dad of Helen, Peter and Terry; father-in-law of Geoff, Kate and Sharon, and grandad and great grandad.

Mr Baxter’s funeral will be held on Saturday, January 14 (10:00 am) in First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church.

The club said: “Bryan was the bank manager of the Ulster Bank in Carrickfergus for years, and extremely well known by many of the local community. Bryan was a popular ‘old school’ bank manager who built relationships, was approachable, a confidente, a good listener and would help anyone if he possibly could.”

It described him as ”an avid golfer and great supporter of our club” with “a great knowledge and interest in sport”.

“A Whitehead Golf Club man through and through, who will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues at Whitehead Golf Club.

“Our thoughts are with both families at this very sad time.”

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