Carrownalurgan, West Road, Westport
THE death has taken place, following a long illness borne with courage and good humour, of Ann Ruddy, Carrownalurgan, West Road, Westport.
She was formerly Ann Joyce, daughter of Mary and the late Leo Joyce (former Mayo footballer and member of Westport Town Council), Newport Road, Westport.
Ann, a member of the staff of Allergan Pharmaceuticals for many years, was an immensely popular figure in the Westport community. Despite an awareness that she was terminally ill, news of her passing at a relatively young age, shocked and saddened all who knew her.
Over the years she gave of herself unstintingly to her parish and her community.
She was a reader in St Mary’s Church and a very valued member of the parish choir. She loved the choir and played a leading role in launching the choir’s CD in 2004. She was also a member of Westport Choral Society for a number of years.
Her generous nature found expression in her work with Westport Social Services Council and she was a volunteer with the SSC for many years.
Ann is deeply mourned by her husband Adrian Ruddy, mother Mary Joyce, brother John Joyce, sisters-in-law Alice, Ruth and Ceura, nephews John and Aaron, extended family, Allergan colleagues, choir and choral society colleagues, neighbours and many friends.
Following repose at the family home, removal took place to St Mary’s Church, Westport, where Fr Denis Carney was the principal celebrant of Ann’s funeral Mass. Members of her immediate and extended family read the lessons and prayers of the faithful and brought the offertory gifts to the altar. St Mary’s Church Choir, under the direction of Mr Gabriel Kelly, were in full voice in tribute to their colleague. Anne’s brother-in-law, Mr Jimmy Jenkinson, gave a fine post-communion rendition of Gentle Annie.
A guard of honour drawn from the membership of St Mary’s Church Choir and Westport Choral Society, flanked the hearse to and from the church in tribute to Ann.
In his homily Fr Carney said Ann was basically a very private person who had achieved a lot in a relatively short life.
“She lived life in a quiet and unassuming way, making an enormous contribution to this parish and this community. As an employee of Allergan, she was very popular and endeared herself to many with her kindness and consideration”.
Fr Carney said Ann loved all sports, but was a particular fan of the GAA, which was not surprising, given the pride with which her late father Leo wore the green and red of Mayo.
“She was a loyal supporter of the green and red. When the Sam Maguire Cup was brought here some years ago by a member of the then victorious All-Ireland winning Galway team, she would not touch it because it had not been won by Mayo. Now that she is a bit nearer the Lord, perhaps we may have some chance of winning it”.
Fr Carney said Ann loved to travel and she and Adrian travelled to many parts of the world, sharing their common interests. She loved her family and had a special affection for her two nephews, John and Aaron.
He said that, throughout her illness, Ann had been sustained by her faith, even to the point that she had most of the arrangements for her funeral made. She was reconciled to death and this was a great comfort to her husband Adrian, mother Mary, brother John and the extended family.
“While we gather in sadness, Ann’s peacefulness in the face of death gives us hope – the hope that our belief in Jesus Christ offers to us. Jesus came to save, not to condemn us – that is our faith and it is that faith that gives us hope at a very sad time like this,” said Fr Carney.
Ann was laid to rest in Aughavale Cemetery.
May her gentle and caring soul have peaceful rest.