Derrygorman, Westport, Co Mayo
Dad was born on June 23, 1937, in Derrygorman to parents Thomas and Sarah Browne. He had one sister, Mary and four brothers John, Eddie, Thomas and Michael.
Mam and dad met and married in England. He was a lucky man to find a woman like my mother who was patient enough to get his wedding outfit ready for him the morning of their wedding while he was playing pull the brush in the pub.
They had a great life together. Like all couples they had their ups and downs but their strong love for each other overcame all obstacles in their marriage. They had a true bond and looked after each other unconditionally. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Carlow for a few years before settling in Derrygorman.
They had three girls Geraldine, Mary and Josephine. Mam and dad always said they were blessed to have all their daughters build houses beside them. They were able to watch all their grandchildren grow up and they were so proud of each and every one of them.
Dad had many passions in his life but his first and foremost was his family. He was always there doing as much as possible for his grandchildren. He had a special and unique bond with them all individually, but for Kevin, he was his role model. Kevin had the best footprints to follow in. Dad had the patience of a saint, the many hours he put in sitting in the car while Chloe learnt to drive.
Dad worked for years in the textile factory in Westport and then became a lorry driver for Sandy Geraghty. Before he went on to drive the school buses for his son-in-law Robert, the kids were always delighted to see dad coming on a Friday as they knew he would always have sweets for them.
Dad loved his farming, he loved all animals. Every day without fail he did the rounds checking on the cattle and horse with his loyal dog. He would always reminisce with laughter about our pet lamb “Wolly” who was always comfy lying on the sofa. No animal was ever turned away from the door, even Lenny after he indulged in the tin of chocolate roses.
Dad was always the man on call to fix any problem. He loved being a DIY enthusiast. There was never a job he wouldn’t tackle, but there was no guarantee that his bit of tape would fix everything. Dad never believed in buying a new fuse. He always mended the old ones with a nail or some silver paper from the cigarette box.
Dad enjoyed his retirement years. He loved the outdoors and pottering about keeping himself busy. He had time to celebrate his grandchildren’s birthday parties and celebrations. No party was complete without Willie Browne. He proved this to us all at Brenda and Tadhg’s wedding last August. Doctors gave the grave news five weeks before the wedding that his time in this life was coming to an end. But Willie Browne thought otherwise and he made a miraculous recovery. There was no way he was going to let Brenda down and he was home to celebrate her special day.
As sick as dad was he was adamant to stay independent. It was only in the new year that he disappeared into town to do a little business. Off he was gone, without a bit of oxygen in tow. Hours later and much fretting from his family he returned. He owned up to having a little half one in Danny’s Bar for medicinal purposes. It came to light later that day how much alcohol he actually had consumed. The grandchildren considered him a legend after this and are now convinced that Danny’s Bar contains oxygen infused pints.
Dad aged gracefully and happy. In the last six months his health gradually failed but he took it all in his stride, never complaining. We are truly grateful to all the doctors’, nurses and all the staff that cared for daddy in his final days. He died peacefully with his loving family around him.
Dad you were so right…..You could never be sold for a thousand Monkeys!!