Rosbeg, Westport, Co Mayo
The death occurred last month of one of Westport’s well loved and popular citizens, Mary Conway. Mary passed away peacefully at her home where she resided in Rosbeg, Westport.
She was born in Derrycoosh, Islandeady, in 1932 and was a much cherished sister to the late Paddy (Chester), Joe and Pete (Derrycoosh), Owen (Blackpool) and Kathleen McEvilly (Killawalla). Mary’s only surviving sibling Mike, resides in Watford (UK).
As a young girl, Mary was passionate about camogie and she was instrumental in setting up St Aidan’s Club, Islandeady, in the 1950’s (one of the first camogie clubs in the county). She went on to be a noted player and has a cache of medals and trophies to show for this.
Mary worked as an office clerk for Tom McHugh Building Contractors, Castlebar, for many years prior to getting married. She married Micksie Conway of Cashel, Ayle in 1963, and she continued her work in the clerical and administrative role for Micksie’s business and together they forged a very successful building firm.
Micksie and Mary went on to have 10 children, but they tragically lost their three oldest children at a young age, two of whom died in a car fire in 1967.
Mary was a woman of great faith and undoubtedly this is what sustained her through these exceptional adverse circumstances.
Over the years Mary was very much involved in voluntary community work, including weekend cooking for the Meals on Wheels (Social Services) and fundraising for Western Care. Mary was also heavily immersed in The Altar Society, giving freely of her time to arranging the Altar flowers, Minister of the Eucharist and door to door collections of Annual Church Dues.
She carried out significant fundraising for the extension of the Sacred Heart School and the new building for Rice College (during the 1980’s).
Mary was passionate about sport all through her life and in particular she was an avid Liverpool fan. She spent many hours with other local diehard fans, “studying the form” and analysing match results. For her enthusiasm she was even bestowed the position of Honorary Secretary of the local Liverpool Supporters Club – thanks to the late Christy Moran!
Mary’s interest in sport didn’t stop there. She also had a breadth of knowledge about almost every Gaelic county team in the country. For that reason she always felt very confident in wagering a small bet with the local milkman and butcher almost on a weekly basis. She took her sport very seriously!
Mary was very well known for her jovial and mischievous disposition. She was to be avoided at all costs on certain days of the year in case one became her next unsuspecting ‘victim’. She got great mileage out of some of her methodically executed pranks.
Mary’s driving and parking skills were also a great local talking point and source of laughter especially when on many occasions the ticket warden himself had given up on issuing warnings to her and was forced to re-park Mary’s ‘abandoned’ car.
Mary enjoyed social activities such as, badminton, bridge and set dancing and while she may never have brought home any trophies, she certainly forged long lasting friendships through these pursuits.
On a more serious note, Mary’s world began and ended with her family, where her care and commitment were total. She left no stone unturned in making sure that Micksie and each of her children were always well looked after. In her latter years, nothing gave Mary greater pleasure than a visit from one of her adored grandchildren.
Mary’s health deteriorated considerably in the last ten years. She was very blessed and fortunate to receive the very best of care through the HSE, Bluebird, Alzheimer’s Association, as well as her own Live-In Carers, Lendy and David. Each and every one of these carers afforded Mary the best quality of life possible throughout her illness and we, as a family, will be forever grateful for this outstanding care. The family will be forever indebted in particular, to Lendy for her exceptional devotion to the love and care of Mary over the past five and a half years. Lendy was a true gift for our cherished mother.
Mary was very privileged to have the support of a very loyal circle of friends who made frequent visits to her home right up to the end. In particular her family would like to thank Mabel, Mary Angela, Irene, Geraldine, Olive and Fr Tony King. Their friendship made a world of difference to her. Mary will be missed, immeasurably, by all her family and friends.
She is survived by her daughters Finola and Caroline, sons David, Peter, Harold, Edward and John and her 10 heartbroken grandchildren.
May Mary’s gentle soul rest in peace.
Till we meet again …….
Oíche Mhaith agus Slán go Fóill.