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In memory of Teresa Fitzpatrick

Funeral Teresa Fitzpatrick Large Web view

 

                            Funeral of Teresa Fitzpatrick

A sad occasion like this today is an occasion to reminisce and to allow the mind to linger on moments from the past. Memories flood back of childhood experiences of being cared for, encouraged and loved.  For her family the first school you ever attended was on your mother’s lap. This is a time when gratitude for a loving mother wells up in your hearts for a “job well done”. It is a time of awakening to an appreciation of the gifts and blessings received. It is only in hindsight that the gift becomes clear. Life is lived going forwards but understood looking backwards.

The death of our mother brings a new kind of experience into our lives. To be without a mother is to be in a strange and lonely place. And that’s understandable. For our mother is really one’s first friend. One’s longest first friend! No friend we will ever meet on life’s journey will have been so interested or committed to us. No other friend will have known our first step or our first smile or our first tear. No other friend will know us through and through in such an intimate manner as to be called by our name – a name given in Baptism.  Tease made you and shaped you. She lived for you.

She is with you in the way you walk and talk, in the things you enjoy and the things you fear, in the things you’re good at and the things you couldn’t do well in a fit; she’s with you in the way you think, in the very way you blink your eyes or move your hands, your every tick and mannerism. She is a part of you and will always remain so.

Home we all know is where the heart is and today the heart is not at home. The heart has gone to a different place. For it is true that today home is joined to heaven in a more profound way. 

So we give thanks to God for her life and it is with confidence that we pray to the same God to give her eternal rest. 

 

Teasie was born in 1926, 6th in a family of seven – three boys and four girls. Her parents were James and Margaret Reilly and Teasie was born in Keady Row. After leaving St. John’s Primary School, she went to The Mill. Teasie was very clever, but in those days, money was short and a job was more important than further education. She remained at The Mill until she retired due to ill health in the 70’s. Her job in the Mill was a ‘spreader’. She told some great stories of life in the Mill and played a very active part in the recent publications on ‘The Mill’.

In her younger days, Teasie loved to socialise and go to the dances in Lurgan, either by foot or bicycle or Johnny McDowell’s taxi! Music was a big part of her life – she was a wonderful singer and was well known for her rendition of Danny Boy. It was only two weeks ago that she sang it for the residents of Bannview Care Home. She didn’t miss a word of it!

Of course, we all remember Teasie was a member of Gilford Choir. She was a member from childhood. At different parties, Teasie was always ready for a song.

She and Denis were close friends but after the death of her mother in 1959, Teasie joined her sisters in New Jersey where she gained employment as a nanny for a doctor and his wife. Within the year, Teasie returned home to Ireland where Denis and Johnny McDowell collected her at Cobh. Denis obviously popped the question and they married in St. John’s Gilford in May 1961! Together they set home in No 90 Keady Row until they moved to Dunbarton Bungalows in the 70’s. Teasie had three children, Stephen, Cathy and Denise.

Teasie loved reading and loved war movies. James Mason was a favourite. Knitting was also a great passion and she could knit Arran jumper in two days! Unfortunately arthritis took a toll and her knitting days came to an end in the 90’s.

She took a great interest in politics and at election time, whether it was at home or abroad, Teasie didn’t go to bed!

L1One of her greatest qualities was her loyalty as a friend and she never held a grudge. Lily Finnegan was her closest friend from childhood. There was only two weeks between them and if you saw one, you saw the other. Usually there was a third member of the group – Oliver Moore. Teasie loved Oliver and the three of them were usually in a café or restaurant having a cuppa! Herself and Lily enjoyed going to the community centres – Laurencetown, Gilford and Tullylish – they had a real community spirit.

 

She was woman of tremendous faith and attended daily Mass here In St. John’s. She loved the church ceremonies and really enjoyed it when all the parish choirs came together. Her presence is sorely missed.

Family was extremely important to her – her children, her grandchildren, her nephews and nieces – she had a wonderful relationship with all of them.

We remember a lovely person, a lady who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy for Tease was a great lover of family, people and life itself. Today then we bid farewell to Tease. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what your mummy would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Tease life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that she is at peace with God after all her suffering.

Children: Stephen, Cathy, Denise

Grandchildren: Ryan, Kevin, Anisa, Eugene, Niall, Niamh, Jason, Anthony, Paula.

Great grandson: Niall and Reilly

Sons-in-law: Paddy and Paul

Daughter-in-law: Debbie

 

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