Belclare, Westport, Co Mayo
Marvin was born in 1945, the son of Josie and Annie Kennedy and was the eldest of 13 children. He grew up in the family home on John’s Row, Westport playing with his brothers in Baker’s and Tunney’s Orchard and summers working on his father’s bog in Owenwee. He spent many years of his youth playing GAA. He was a keen rifleman, becoming a top marksman for the local FCA.
Like many young men of his generation Marvin emigrated to the UK in 1963, where he settled in Reading, Berkshire. He always maintained strong links with home, become an active member of St Anthony’s GAA Club and establishing himself as a great friend and employer to the local Irish community and many other young Irishmen. He also played and enjoyed soccer, becoming a great supporter of Manchester United and Reading FC, a tradition all his children still follow.
Marvin met the love of his life, Patricia in 1966 at a dance in Castlebar. They created a life together, marrying in Reading in 1967 and soon after they celebrated the arrival of their two eldest children, Brian and Helen in 1968 and 1969 respectively. Marvin had an extremely strong work ethic and his time in Reading was both prosperous and successful, where he built and ran his own construction business for many years.
Despite his success in England, Marvin maintained strong ties to Westport, travelling home every year to spend time with his family to ensure his children always knew their roots. Marvin decided to end his adventures in Reading returning with Patricia and family to Westport in 1979 to build his home and castle in Belclare. He purchased the Helm Bar and started his own plant hire business but his business ambitions were curtailed due to serious illness.
With the arrival of three other children, Emma, David and Kevin, Marvin’s life gained new focus. He fought back to full health and began a new career as a stone mason. His beautiful stone constructions are to be found throughout Westport and its hinterland. Marvin immersed himself into his new life, playing snooker, golf, following the horses, Formula 1, Mayo GAA and, always, Manchester United and Reading FC. He hosted and attended many poker games with friends. He loved fishing and in particular sea angling. In his later years he was the proud senior team member of the Sheebeen pool team. Throughout his life Marvin had many friends, his advice was invaluable, his friendship reliable.
He taught all his children the importance of family, and he instilled in them to strive to realise their potential as individuals. He loved hard work and had immense physical strength and courage that age could not take away. He loved the bog, proudly continuing the tradition that his father had taught him. He maintained strong ties with his brothers and sisters, and that bond was apparent from the fantastic support they provided to Marvin, Patricia and each other, in his final months.
Family meant everything to Marvin, he took enormous pride in where they settled in Belclare, creating a fantastic environment for his family to grow under the stunning backdrop of Croagh Patrick, Clew Bay and the green fields and mountain range of Nephin Beg. This area was a treasure to Marvin, and he really got to enjoy the fruits of his labour in the latter part of his life.
Late last year, Marvin celebrated 52 years of marriage to Patricia. Above everything else, it was the time they had together and the life they created that gave him true happiness and contentment. She was also his greatest source of comfort during his final months, the strength of their marriage and love they had for each other was most evident.
Marvin’s Funeral Mass, which was private due to current Covid-19 restrictions, took place on Tuesday, June 9, at St Mary’s Church, Westport, followed by burial at Aughavale Cemetery.
Marvin’s passing has left a huge void in his family’s hearts and lives. He is survived by his wife Patricia, sons Brian, David and Kevin, daughters Helen and Emma, daughters-in-law and partners, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, relations, neighbours and his many friends.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.