THE death took place last week in the kind care of the staff at the Claremount Nursing Home, Claremorris, of Josephine Bell, Caratava, Taugheen. She was formerly Flanagan from near Kilmaine and was predeceased by her husband Dick many years ago and also by her son Richie in 1994.
Jo, as she was known to all, was a gracious and gentle lady who commanded the height of regard and respect throughout the community. She was imbued with a noble and dignified nature that endeared her to all and one always came away uplifted after spending a time in her presence.
The trials of life crossed her path with the death of her husband while in his 40’s when their family of three were still young children. The sudden death of her beloved son Richie in 1994 was a huge cross to carry for Jo and her family and for Richie’s wife Ann (a native of Monaghan) and her young family.
Richie was a hero of Mayo football and a member of the All Ireland winning Mayo U-21 team of 1974. He was a member of the teaching staff at Ballinrobe Community School and took ill and died suddenly while training with Carramore in Malachy’s field at Hollybrook. They came from Kerry and all over to pay their respects to Richie who had such a special place in the hearts of all Mayo GAA followers.
The Bell family were involved in the local farming scene in the Taugheen area and Jo helped out as best she could down through the years while also taking good care of the family home.
She took a good interest in the local and county GAA scene which was only natural because of the Bell family involvement with the sport over many years.
She was an ardent listener to Mid West Radio and she looked forward to her favourites shows from week to week. The station was a welcome guest in the Bell family home over the last three decades.
Reposing was at Gilligan’s Funeral Home on Monday evening with removal to St Michael’s Church, Taugheen. Interment took place in Crossboyne Cemetery following the Funeral Mass celebrated by Fr James Quinn on Tuesday.
Josephine, who was predeceased by her husband Dick and sons Richie and baby John, will be sadly missed by her daughter Anne (Fenwick), son Aidan, daughters-in-law Bina and Ann, son-in-law Jackie, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her sister Kathleen Walsh (The Derries, Cong), nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends.