Knappaghbeg, Westport, Co Mayo and formerly of Athlone, Co Westmeath
There was a veil of shock and sadness in Westport and surrounding areas as news broke of the sudden passing of Natalie Berry, or ‘Nat’ as she was affectionately known by family and friends. Daughter of the late Kathleen and Patrick Harkins, Natalie was born on September 26, 1967, the youngest of four children and the only daughter of the pair. Natalie’s father, Patrick worked for CIE as a train driver and her mother, Kathleen cared for all her family in St Joseph’s Villas, Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Natalie’s school life began in St Peter’s primary school, she later went on to attend St Joseph’s College in Summerhill, Athlone, for her secondary education, where she was a star student. Natalie was particularly good at English, she received an A in Honours English in her Leaving Certificate. Upon finishing school, Natalie’s first job was at Kilcleagh Park Hotel in Castledaly as head receptionist, she later moved to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Athlone and finally Hudson Bay Hotel where she continued honing her hotel skills. Natalie’s life in Athlone was a mix of very hard work and fun, with a great group of friends, family and work colleagues.
Growing up, Natalie had a passion for fast cars and motor bikes, a passion she shared with her brothers Alan and Derek and her father Patrick. She loved nothing more than to go with her brothers for a ‘spin’ on their bikes. Natalie carried that passion with her throughout her life and would happily spend hours cleaning and polishing her car. No matter how busy she was, her car was always absolutely spotless, nor would she ever miss a nice car driving by, ensuring it was noticed by all in her company too!
In 1992, Natalie was a guest at a wedding where she met her husband Dermot. It was love at first sight. Although they lived in different counties, they made their relationship work and were constantly going the distance to see each other and soon they were engaged to be married. Natalie moved to Westport and in the following years, they welcomed their daughters Kate and Hayley into the family. Natalie was a doting and loving mother and had an amazing relationship with her daughters, a relationship with precious memories the girls will treasure forever. Natalie was a stay-at-home Mum until she started working at The Mayo News as head receptionist, and subsequently as Director of the company. Her work ethic, efficiency and natural warmth ensured she merged well into the busy environment of a local newspaper where she loved nothing better than to have a good laugh with the team as the pressure of deadlines approached.
Always extremely stylish, Natalie absolutely loved fashion and beauty products and was more than skilled with a make-up brush, a passion she shared with both Kate and Hayley. Some would say she was a ‘style icon’ and would always light up a room when she walked in.
Music was another passion and she loved driving along with the speakers blaring her favourite tunes by artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Thin Lizzy and George Michael.You would often hear her before you’d see her coming down the road!
Natalie was a real animal lover too and had dogs all of her life. She strongly believed it was important to raise her family with animals. She walked every day with her dog Maddie and always showed her unconditional love.
Natalie Berry is predeceased by her father Patrick, mother Kathleen, brother Patrick and sister-in-law Elizabeth.
She is survived and deeply missed by her heartbroken husband Dermot, daughters Kate and Hayley, brothers Alan and Derek, nephews Patrick, Derek and Humphrey, nieces Lyndsey and Keria, Lily, Louisa, Mary, Emma and Aoife and Fia, Laura (Athlone), aunt and uncle Jimmy and Delia, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, mother-in-law Teresa, Aaron, extended family, friends and work colleagues. May Natalie’s beautiful soul rest in peace.