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In memory of Oliver Doyle

.Funeral Oliver Doyle Medium Web view

There is, as the scriptures remind us today, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather in Gilford 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 keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love. 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. This is a time when gratitude for a loving father 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.

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.

Oliver was born on 11th July 1940, the oldest child and only son of James Eddie and May Doyle. He was born in Banbridge in Gowdy’s Gate Lodge, attended primary school in Gilford and, like the majority of people of his generation, left school at fourteen and went to work in Gilford Mill. As the oldest and only boy, Oliver always said he ‘looked after the four sisters’ – Bridie, Mary, Rita and Vera.

He also worked in King’s Packaging and Moy Park.

Oliver married his wife, Josephine Toland in the Clare Chapel on 6th June 1964 and they set up home in Keady Row before moving to No 49 Castleview and then to the present home at No. 30. They had five children: Martin, Joanne, Mairead, Francie and Gary.

He loved sport – all sport – darts, snooker, pool, greyhounds and pigeons, but he especially liked taking money from the boys at rummy on a Saturday and Sunday!

Quizzes, country and western music and western movies all had their part in Oliver’s life. Hugo Duncan referred to him as ‘Auld Doyle’! John Wayne, of course, was a favourite.

Five years ago, he fulfilled a dream when he travelled to Australia for his 70th birthday, to visit his sisters Vera and Rita. He loved it and the family shared the event on tullylish.com

Oliver was also a great man for the Irish customs and folklore. His maternal grandparents were from Mullaghbawn and he spent his school holidays there. He learned all about the leprechauns and fairies and fervently believed in their existence. He loved nothing better than a trip to Mullaghbawn.

Oliver took everything in his stride and his door was always open. He loved going to the pub every day for a couple of pints and a bit of craic.

He loved each and every one of his grandchildren and they, in turn, loved him.

Oliver’s faith was very important to him and he was a faithful attender at Mass. Recently he started attending the 8.30am Mass in St. Peters, Lurgan as he ‘liked an early Mass’ and got a lift with Sean McAnearney. On St. Patrick’s Day this year, he walked up the hill to St. John’s.

When his wife, Josephine died, Oliver missed her terribly and then he was totally heartbroken two years ago when his son, Gary died.

In November last year he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was given 12-18 months but that was not to be. The family knew on Sunday he wasn’t too well as he didn’t go to Mass. When they asked him later on in the evening if he wanted to go to the pub, he replied – I didn’t go to Mass so I’m not going to the pub!

Even though the family knew he was ill, his death came as a shock on Tuesday morning.

o we give thanks to God for Oliver’s life and it is with confidence that we pray to the same God to give him eternal rest. Since the passing of Oliver you have all shared memories of him in many respects – his talents, achievements and interests –

We gather today as a Christian community and our presence here today is our way of reaching out to all of you who loved him and will miss him and to you we extend our sympathy.

We remember a good man who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of him today is not going to be easy for Oliver was a great lover of family, people and life itself. Today then we bid farewell to Oliver. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what your daddy and brother would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Oliver life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that he is at peace with God after all his infirmity.

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

On behalf of the parish community I extend our deepest sympathy to Oliver’s loving family Martin, Joanne, Mairead and Francis. Sisters Bridie, Mary, Rita and Vera, daughters in law and son in law, grandchildren and family circle.

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.




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