Tom Topping: Heartbroken daughter says ‘world is totally shattered’ after father’s shock death - funeral details released
The daughter of popular businessman Tom Topping has revealed how their family life is “totally shattered” after his sudden death.
A former hotel owner, Mr Topping died after a suspected farm accident near his Co Antrim home.
He owned Topping Meats, a big supplier in Co Antrim, and previously ran the Highways Hotel in Larne.
Mr Topping, who was aged in his 70s, passed away following an incident involving a vehicle.
Writing on social media his daughter, Louise Topping, told of her distress at her father’s passing.
She said: “To say our world is totally shattered is an understatement.
“Kenneth Topping, myself Alan & Jo Topping would like to thank everyone who attended the scene, have sent kind wishes and called with us.
“We would like to ask that the family home is given privacy at this time to let Tom’s close family & friends come to terms with this tragedy.
“Further details will follow when we know more ourselves.
Thank you for understanding
A post on Funeral Times said that Thomas James (Tom) TOPPING died on August 8 ‘suddenly’.
It added that he is the “beloved loved husband of the late Rae” and a “loving and devoted father to Kenneth, Louise and Alan”.
“A service of thanksgiving for Tom’s life will be held in his house on Saturday 13th August 2022 at 2.30pm and afterwards to the Glynn Cemetery,” adds the funeral notice.
“Will be loved and remembered always by his sons, daughter, daughter-in-law Jo and grandchildren Lee, Kirsty, Rachel and Rae,” it adds.
Earlier East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson, a neighbour of Mr Topping, said: "I had just arrived home from the office as the police arrived trying to find Tom's house.
"Tom Topping lived just down the lane from me. The air ambulance arrived soon after that."
"It is very sad as he had just built that house beside me."
Mr Wilson said he always saw Mr Topping driving about in a truck.
"He has a daughter and two sons who were always around. They all seem to work in the business and saw each other all the time. And if I was ever invited to any of these charity breakfasts or dinners, Tom would be there. He was well known and respected. He had a full life and was involved in many organisations.
“Tom was my neighbour and I counted him as a friend. The tragic circumstances of his death have left his family and those knew him stunned and sorrowful.
“As a successful businessman, Tom created jobs for hundreds of people over his lifetime, supported the local farming community, was innovative in business and supportive of many good causes in the community.
“He will be greatly missed, not only by his close family but also by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go to those who are grieving the loss of a father and grandfather at this sad time.”
A spokesman for Hospitality Ulster said: "A very sad loss, Tom was a gentleman and will be missed by everyone that knew him. RIP Larne businessman Tom Topping dies after suspected farm accident."
Emotional tributes online add: “Very sad news on the passing of a legend Tom Topping, an old customer back in the day. Well respected by all who knew and worked for him ...a man who wouldnt pass you without a hoot and a wave ...condolences to all the family at this time”.
Another post said: “Fly high with the angels Mr Tom topping you were the best boss anyone could ever ask for. Thinking of your family. You were a gentleman and you will be solely missed by everyone”.