The death of prominent businessman Gilbert Crawford has left a "massive void", not only in his family, but also in the business world in Maghera and much further afield, a Mid Ulster councillor said today.
Mr Crawford died in Causeway Hospital, Coleraine, on Tuesday after a short illness.
He was well known in farming circles throughout Northern Ireland and had an international reputation for breeding Charolais cattle.
He was a managing director of Crawford department store in Maghera, auctioneer and property owner.
Life-long friend Ulster Unionist Councillor George Shiels said his passing had left a "massive void" in the community.
"I must register my sadness at the death of my personal friend Gilbert Crawford and I would like to sympathize with the family," he said.
"Gilbert was a large part of the economic development of Maghera during the second half of the Twentieth Century and into the new Millennium."
Mr Crawford, who lived at Station Road in Maghera, will be buried following a funeral service in the local Presbyterian Church later today. He is survived by his wife Hazel, daughters Joanne and Sonya, and son Jonathan.