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In memory of Jim Conlon

Funeral Jim Conlon Large Web viewThe basic value of this life is that the life and death of each one of us has its influence on others.

Today we are remembering a good man with a wide circle of friends from all sections of the community. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Jimmy, a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on us all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to those whose burden is heaviest and whose loss is greatest.

Today we shed tears for Jimmy but our tears have a healing effect. Today we no longer cling on but let him go to be with the Lord forever.

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the 74 years he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into your lives and we acknowledge his service to the parish and his many interests.  A hard working man all his life. For you Bridie and Martin and his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Jim how much you all loved him and appreciated him.

Jim was born on the 28/4/1938 to his mother Mary Anne and father Owen Conlon at home at Ballymacanallen Road. He attended Laurencetown Primary School until he went out to work at 14. He worked with local farmers and contractors John Jones and Calvert Brothers around the Provence before working until his retirement at 64 in the plastics factory at Seapatrick.

In his early years enjoyed going to watch Down play football with his brother Joe and circle of friends and attended dances in Drogheda, Dundalk and Banbridge.

He eventually met his wife in 1976 on New Year's Eve night in the Belmont hotel.

She was the daughter of a long time friend and neighbour Charles Mc Cambridge.

They married on the 28/3/1978 to begin 35 very happy years together and they lived at their home at Ballymacanallen Road which he renovated for her before their wedding.

On the 18th of January 1985 his only son Martin was born and Jimmy drove through the snow to Newry to see his new son and bring him home with Bridie.

Martin married his wife Andrea on the 8th May 2010.  It was one of Jimmy’s proudest and happiest days. Another was soon to follow when on the 11th April 2012 his first grandchild Olivia Grace was born at the Causeway hospital and he was 1 of the first on the scene to greet her into the world.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He will always be remembered by everyone who was privileged to have met him as a true gent and strong and patient man. He set up and kept a beautiful home for his family and took particular pride in his floral displays and as was fitting, this year the

display was better than ever and gave him great joy throughout his illness. He worked hard his whole life and did everything in his power to provide the very best of everything for his family.

He had a great faith all his life. Saying a Rosary twice a day and attending mass in the parish. He attended retreats in his early days and in later years went on an annual pilgrimage to Knock shrine with his family.

He will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

In our sadness and grief, in the midst of things we cannot understand or explain, let us commit Jimmy and ourselves to God's never failing love and care, knowing that he will give us strength and courage to face the days ahead, just as he gives Jim new life in his heavenly kingdom.

Death has been conquered! As Christian people we are a people in waiting in hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life to come.

Like St. Paul we carry our faith in earthen vessels and death can either shatter or deepen our faith.

To be a Christian is to be a pilgrim on a spiritual journey. To be a pilgrim is to go along the way of faith, hope and love. The goal is certain – eternal life in Christ Jesus. But the way is often uncertain and at times we can lose our sense of direction and we forget how to live.

This is a time of sadness. We are sad today because we are gathered to mourn Jimmy and say our final farewell. We are here today to console you in your sadness by our presence, our prayers and our words of consolation.

And finally it is a time of hope.

Our faith tells us that at death life is changed, not ended. We are then filled with hope that Jimmy is now at peace. We are confident in this hope that God has taken him to himself.

May Mary the mother of God who buried her own son be with us to see the mind and the plan of God in our lives at this time.

May he rest in peace. Amen.

Today we bid farewell to Jimmy for a job well done, he has fought the good fight, he has won the race and I extend our sympathy to Jim’s loving wife Bridie, son Martin, daughter in law Andrea, grandchild Olivia, brother Joe, and the entire family circle. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.




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