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In memory of Elsie Doherty

Funeral Elsie Doherty Large Web view

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Elsie Doherty, especially her loving sons and daughter and all the family circle.

We all come here to remember a good person, to give thanks, even in our grief for Elsie’s life, to offer each other, and especially her family and all those who will most miss her, the consolation of our love and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Elsie; our sadness is that she has gone from us. Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome her home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Elsie.

We gather here today in sadness with the family of Elsie Doherty. Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his Holy Spirit to bring his peace to your hearts and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the long life that he gave Elsie and pray in faith that he will welcome her home to everlasting happiness in heaven.

There is as the Scriptures remind us, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather in Laurencetown Church we reflect on the mystery of time and providence that are in God’s hands: there is indeed a time to die, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love.

Holding a wake for Elsie, her family has shared memories of who she was and what she meant to them. We mourn her passing, we cherish her memory. Above all you have remembered the humanity of a good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Elsie. A burden of pain, burden of loss, burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to Elsie’s family and friends.

 Elsie was born on 28th July 1934 in Ballynahinch, the only daughter of Willie John and Mary Walkingshaw and sister to Bertie, Willie and Terry. Elise had 3 brothers. The family moved to Seapatrick in 1953 when her father took over from Johnny Flynn Senior as huntsman with Iveagh Hounds at Seapatrick Kennels. Elsie attended the local Tonnaghamore School in the same area. After leaving the kennels, the family moved, first to Barrack Hill and then Smith’s Hill. As was the case in those days, working life commenced straight after Primary School and Elise gained employment in Bell’s Stitching. At the same time, her late husband Joe had come from Donegal to work at Waugh’s in Seapatrick and, like all good biblical stories, Elsie and Joe met at the local water pump.

 They married in England and their first three children were born there, but Elise was homesick, so home they came to Knocknagore. When Miller Park was built in the 1960’s the Dohertys moved to Number 48 where they remained.

 Elsie also worked for many years in Down Shoes until she retired to care for her husband Joe. The sudden tragic death of their youngest daughter, Margaret, in 1985 took its toll on all the family, but especially Joe. The family was devastated, but Elsie had to remain strong for everyone – as every mother does. When the grandchildren arrived it gave Joe and Elsie something to live for and that was the beginning of their recovery.

 Elsie loved the craic and was the local community centre’s biggest fan. No matter what was on, she was there. Recently when she paid a visit after coming home from hospital, she received a round of applause from all who were there. Bingo was also on the list of activities as well as word puzzles and quiz shows – she loved Tipping Point.

The phrase ‘a cat with nine lives’ certainly referred to Elsie. Ill health featured in a major part of Elsie’s life and she lived with the debilitating COPD for about 20 years, and was a regular visitor to the hospital. 5 years ago she broke her hip and was very ill. This was followed two years later by an aneurism and she ‘died’ twice and was resuscitated – the doctor called her ‘my miracle patient’.

 But it didn’t deter Elsie from life – after Joe’s death, herself and her son Jim went to visit Joe’s brother in New York.
Of course line-dancing features strongly in the Savage household and Elsie went to Nashville one year to watch her granddaughters in competition.

 Donegal was her favourite place – the homeland of her late husband and something always drew her back there. Only last week she talked about ‘another wee trip there next year’.

 In her final weeks, Elsie never complained and said she had neither ache nor pain, which was a blessing. She loved to share a glass of wine with Mary and the granddaughters – the night before she died she told them to ‘check the fridge for a wee glass!’

 Elsie was a doting grandmother to her 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

 We extend our sympathy today to her loving daughter Mary, her sons William, Jim, Paul and Michael, daughters in law, her brothers William and Terry, grandchildren and great grandchildren, sister in law, nephews and nieces and extended family circle.

 

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