Westport, Co Mayo
Jack was born in December 1939 in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim to Harriet and Joseph Bredin. He was the second of four children. He attended primary school in Manorhamilton followed by boarding school in St Patrick’s in Co Cavan. Shortly after leaving school, Jack joined the Ulster Bank, bringing him to many towns throughout Ireland, he loved talking about these times recounting the various stories about his stay in each place.
In the early 1960’s he was transferred to Limerick and this is where he met Helen Coffey. Following their engagement Jack was transferred to Ballina as Helen was a native of Limerick (this was the custom in the Bank at the time) which is where they began their married life in 1964. From there they moved to Cavan Town. In 1974 Jack was appointed Bank Manager in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, at the time he was the youngest person to be appointed as a Bank Manager. In 1979 an opportunity arose to go West again and they jumped at it. Arriving in Westport on December 10, on Jack’s 40th birthday. Jack and Helen threw themselves into life in Westport becoming involved in many community associations. Both were involved in the Golf Club assuming the roles of Lady and Men’s Captain’s in the early 80’s and 90’s.
Helen was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, prompting Jack to take early retirement from the Bank in 1998. He always said it was the best decision he ever made as it allowed Jack and Helen the freedom to travel and enjoy retirement life. Unfortunately, Helen’s cancer returned in 2004. Jack cared for Helen with compassion and kindness throughout her illness despite his own ill-health at the time. Helen died in 2006, while Jack was devastated and missed her every day he was mindful that she would have wanted him to be happy and enjoy the life they had created for themselves.
Jack has six grandchildren. He proudly spoke about them to anyone who was willing or not so willing to listen to him. They were his life and he adored each and every one of them.
Jack was renowned for his sense of humour and always had an entertaining story to share. He loved fun and always appeared in good form. He battled many illnesses in his later years but his will to live was strong and despite the severity of his illnesses he always seemed to bounce back and get on with enjoying life.
Jack and Helen gathered many friends from the various places they lived. Friendships that have endured through the years. He was especially grateful to the friends and neighbours who sustained him through the lock-downs and particularly during his recent illness.
A phrase that have been repeatedly used for Jack was “he was a gentleman”. A lovely legacy to leave behind him.
Jack is survived by his children Alan, Elizabeth, Sheila and Elaine, brothers Fr Joe (Bath), Tom (Sligo) and sister Marie Shields (Sligo).
May he rest in peace.