The oldest person in the parish of Bekan has died at the age of 101. Delia Guilfoyle, nee Flatley from Laffiney, Bekan was born on September 17, 1905, one day before the birth of Swedish actress Greta Garbo who was later to become a Hollywood icon.
Ireland was still under British Rule while Czar Nicholas 11 was at the helm in Russia. In so many ways, it was a vastly different world.
Delia lived through great changes in Irish life and society. She married John Guilfoyle and they raised a family of three, Tom, Mary and Pat. Her husband John died in 1980 and she was also predeceased by her son Pat who resided in Galway and by her daughter-in-law Niamh.
Right up to the last few weeks, Delia’s mind was as alert as ever and she continued to amaze one and all with the clarity of her memory. She could recall stories and events from decades back and present them with wonderful attention to detail.
She resided with her son Tom and his wife Peggy and family and was very much at the heart of the Guilfoyle family circle. She received numerous visits from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and took delight in their achievements. In more recent times, her grand-daughter Joan was always there to take care of her and she received the best of attention in the family home.
Last year, she received a letter and a cheque from president Mary McAleese on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Some weeks ago, she was the recipient of another letter and a medal from the President to commemorate her reaching 101.
Delia is survived by her son Tom (Greenwood) and daughter Mary Jordan (Ballyhaunis), daughter-in-law Peggy, son-in-law Tommy, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives, neighbours and friends.
She was laid to rest in Bekan Cemetary after Requiem Mass.