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Friday 1 August 2014

Kathleen made an immense contribution to the community

Published 19/12/2012|21:15

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Kathleen Thornton 1935 - 2012

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Kathleen Thornton, Marlbog Road, Dundalk who died peacefully on November 23rd in St. Oliver Plunkett Hospital surrounded by her loving family, was a backbone in the community in Haggardstown.

Kathleen was a talented, highly energetic, competent and resourceful lady, who made an immense contribution to the life of the community in Haggardstown.

Her passing leaves a deep void in the lives of many and Haggardstown is very much the poorer as a result of her passing. She was a precious wife, mother and devoted grandmother who was an inspiring example to her family and was much admired for the astute husbandry in with which she ran her home.

The youngest of four children of Michael and Kathleen Clinton from Heynestown, Kathleen grew up and lived all her life in the area.

She attended St. Fursey's NS and after finishing her education worked for a very short time in a nursing home in Dublin.

Later she took up employment in Dundalk, first in PJ Carrolls and then in HallidaysClarke shoes.

Her husband, Joe who was from Upper Merches also worked in the shoe industry. The couple married in 1962 and set up home on the Marlbog Road, where they lived a very happy life and were blessed with four children, Michael, Hugh, Maria and Karen.

Kathleen took on the role of full-time housekeeper, displaying a remarkable ability to manage the family budget and always managed to save for the annual family holiday.

She engaged her talents in a whole lot of areas to help her neighbours, and instigated and ran a local coal club, arranging with a local supplier to collect contributions to alleviate the financial burden on families. She also acted as an unofficial agent for the local credit union, obliging neighbours who had no transport or were unable to go with payments to the local office.

She was a very actively involved with the local BHK Credit Union, serving on the Board of Directors and filled the role of vicechairwoman. She was also highly involved in the local conference of St. Vincent de Paul, quietly assisting those in need and lending personal support by visiting homes. Later she acted as a home carer to neighbours and friends.

The two main organisations in her community, the ICA and the Geraldines GFC also benefited immensely from her energy and generosity. She joined the ICA Guild as a young housewife and showed a great aptitude to learn the different crafts and skills.

She played a leading role in the Guild, filling the posts of secretary, president and treasurer at different stages.

Kathleen was also at the forefront of helping with fundraising efforts and the catering role that the ladies undertook so wholeheartedly for the Geraldines.

She was a great club stalwart, helping out on occasions when the club were hosting important events at McGeough Park, or at functions for families in the parish.

She was a very go-ahead, and would allow nothing to faze her. A prime example was when she and husband, Joe bought their first car without both knowing how to drive. She quickly learned through her own devices.

In her leisure time, she liked dancing and was also a keen walker, walking several miles daily with her friend Noni.

She was a life long pioneer but loved a sing song and possessed a delightful voice.

She also showed a fine talent for bowls which she played in the Geraldines hall and won quite a few prizes.

The death of her husband, Joe nearly 16 years ago was a big blow for Kathleen and unfortunately she suffered ill health in the last number of years. She was entrusted to the dedicated care of St. Oliver's Hospital for which her family are very appreciative for the kindness shown to them.

They are also most grateful to the Birches Club for their support care and advice.

Along with her husband Joe, Kathleen was predeceased by her parents, Michael and Kathleen, brother, Georgie, sister, Moira and granddaughter Emma-Maria.

She is survived by her sons, Michael (Lurgangreen) and Hugh (Marlbog Road), daughters, Maria Kirk (Heynestown) and Karen McElarney (Beech Park, Blackrock), sons-in law, daughters-in law, grandchildren, Shane, Adel, Brian and Aidan Thornton, Padraic Kirk and Aine and Clare McElarney, sister, Briege McCabe (Heynestown), sister- in- law. and nieces and nephews.

Kathleen's remains reposed at daughter, Maria's home before removal to St. Fursey's Church for Requiem Mass celebrated by Rev, Brian White C.C., assisted by Very Rev. Padraig Keenan P.P., Haggardstown.

Symbols of Kathleen's life were taken to the altar by grandchildren Shane and Clare, sons-in-law, Patsy and Tom, daughter, Maria and son, Michael while granddaughter, Adel described the relevance of symbols.

The Offertory Gifts were presented by sister, Briege and friend, Nonie Arrowsmith.

The Readings were given by grandsons, Shane and Brian and the Prayers of Intercession were led by grandson, Padraic, granddaughter, Aine, daughter-in-laws, Carmel and Dorothy, nieces, Marie Hoey and Marian Daly.

Kathleen's son, Hugh gratefully acknowledged all the help and support the family received, and a reflection composed by Saint Oliver's Hospital staff was read by daughter, Karen. The beautiful music was by organist, Brendan McCourt and the soloist was Sarah McCourt. Burial took place in the adjoining cemetery.

Month's Mind Mass is on Sunday, December 23, in St. Fursey's Church at 9am.

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