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In memory of Margaret Fox

Margaret Fox web

Margaret Fox

1921 - 2021

Funeral Mass 26th March 2021
Celebrant: Very Reverend G. Powell PP

There is we know a time for mourning and a time for joy. These two emotions will surely find a place together in our hearts today. At the end of Margaret’s long life it maybe that the need to praise God is uppermost in our minds because it is so clear how rich God’s blessings have been to her:

“My soul gives thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings”.

We are happy today because we know deep down that Margaret’s life was complete and she was ready for God. We have received much from her – always generous and thoughtful – a lady. 

Thank you to all who cared for her in life, Doctors, nurses, carers from Gilford Surgery and all who cared so diligently for her in Bannview Nursing Home.

The lesson of illness is that of endurance and faith. In all our lives there are the valleys and the hills, the good times and the bad times, the successes and the failures, the joys and the sorrows. We are all given a certain number of years and those who live the longest become deeply aware that this time is not given so much for our enjoyment, but rather to work out our salvation.

Personal

Margaret was born on 25th October 1921. She was the youngest child of Peter Fox from Gilford and Sarah O'Gorman Fox from Dundalk, Co. Louth. She grew up in the public house on Terry's Row with her sisters Kathleen, Ita and Brigid and her brothers Eddie and Terry. Despite being the youngest, Margaret was always the boss. 

After leaving St. Michael’s in Lurgan, she lived in Dublin with her sister Kathleen, before making her home in London for many years. London was where she was happiest. She lived by Clapham Common and worked as a civil servant in Soho. She was an extremely bright and very attractive woman who embraced London life in the "swinging sixties". She loved the West End with it's theatres, restaurants and stores, becoming a true fashion icon.

Christmas and birthdays were a time of excitement in Gilford and Lurgan with expensive gifts from Harrods and Hamleys toy store. In 1963, she got a smile and a wave from President John F Kennedy as he entered Downing Street. The Irish club in Soho Square was a favourite haunt where she had many friends, the most colourful and unlikely being a writer named Brendan Behan.

Another close friend was a manager in the Dorchester Hotel. In the summer of 1964 she politely declined an invitation to witness an exclusive dinner party with the Queen mother following a film launch. The guests were a young band from Liverpool called the Beatles. She was given a menu from the dinner but declined the offer of autographs as she reckoned the band weren't up to much. Her nephew Peter, an obsessive Beatle fan still has the precious menu, sadly not signed. Another great love was the tennis at Wimbledon where she followed her sporting hero Billy Jean King.

Margaret, unselfishly gave up London life when her sister Ita took ill.

Although she never served a pint behind the bar, Margaret loved what Fox's Bar represented, a totally cross community pub and a melting pot, especially during troubled times. She liked to sit on the stairs and just listen to the banter and the sing songs on a weekend night. She was forever assisting the locals using her expertise in filling out forms and offering guidance, like a Citizen's advice councillor to the drinking men of Gilford.

She was devoted to her family and to her Catholic faith in equal measure. Margaret was a much loved member of our parish community and will be sorely missed. Her positivity was inspirational. Her dedication to all the groups in our parish and in particular, St. John’s Church was heart-warming. She was devoted to the St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society and pilgrimages to Knock.

In the early 1990s, she moved with Brigid from the row to the Bannview house on the hill. In more recent times she was overjoyed to witness a new generation of 21st Century Foxs' with the arrival of Patrick, Michael and Sarah. Margaret had a real desire to live to be one hundred. Sadly it wasn't to be. She remained in good health right up to the last and her mind was as sharp as ever. She was serene, relaxed and at peace at the end.

Marie and Peter would like to thank Ann Blevins for 12 years of love, care and devotion to Margaret, to Marie McAteer for her equal devotion and care. To all the carers who helped and supported her in Gilford and Banbridge. To Francie and Mary McAlinden for their support and expertise at this time. Also to Margaret's cousins the Lavery family; Kathleen, Maura, Sue, Eamon, Jim and John and their families. She cared deeply for you all. Eternal rest ….

Margaret Fox with Molly Lavery

An early photo of Margaret Fox with Molly Lavery (nee McArdle)

 

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