The late Anne Ross
ON the 20th of September a dark cloud descended on the peaceful villages of Ballyduff and Abbeydorney as the news filtered through that Anne Ross had slipped away from us.
Anne, was born Anne Maunsell in Cahernade Abbeydorney to Chrissie and the late Brendan Maunsell, she was the fifth of six daughters and seven sons.
The drill was simple in the Maunsell household, you strive for the best and you will be the best. Coming second was not an option. At Anne's removal, Chrissie must have been especially proud to hear her grandson Kevin, recite the beautiful prayer that she taught her daughter Anne all those years ago.
Anne moved to Ballyduff in 1993 when she married Martin Ross and they resided in Tower Drive for many enjoyable years. They were blessed with three children Shane, Kevin and Christina. Unfortunately, Shane passed away at childbirth but is always remembered in family prayers and at family events.
While in Tower Drive, Anne set about designing the house of her dreams. When Martin saw the plans progressing, he joked to her that that's all it would ever be. But Ann being a Maunsell made her dream a reality.
She enjoyed many happy years in this home, entertaining and giving in abundance. She enjoyed the feel and company of people around her always. Obviously this came from being part of a warm and loving family.
One particularly happy time she gave on Main Street, Ballyduff was in 2005 when she tried to convince everyone that she was becoming an avid gardener - pruning one particular rose bush about 30 times and engaging in conversation with everyone walking on the street.
Of course the conversation would eventually have to move to the two huge Abbeydorney flags to the left and right of this now getting smaller rose bush. Addeydorney had defeated Ballyduff in the county hurling semi-final and of course she made ' hay while the sun shone.'
She had a hearty laugh relaying some of the healthy banter and conversations she enjoyed with the sports people of Ballyduff.
To say that Anne was a fashion fanatic would be an understatement. She could travel ten times to Abbeydorney in an evening to her sisters to match a buckle to a bow or a tassel to a tail. Ann was very imaginative and creative and while we thought she bought spontaneously she would always have an ulterior motive and with the combination of two she could make the most stunning, never to be repeated one of a kind, outfit for whatever occasion.
Anne had distinguished herself as a career woman in SIPTU Tralee. She worked there for many years and made many lasting friendships. She was an invaluable asset to the branch and her many attributes, her knowledge, forthrightness, dedication and discression made her an admirable and empowering force to have on one's team.
To those closest who will think of her every day - Martin, Christina and Kevin, they now have to build on fond memories and make them special.
To Christina and Kevin she was a mother, "Mom" who enriched their minds with a deep faith as children and then became a listener and advisor as they matured to young adults.
They have wonderful memories as well-balanced young adults and are ready to face the challenges and opportunities this world will afford them.
In the course of her illness of over six years Anne used their achievements as mile stones and it brought out the spirit within her to achieve every one of them.
To Martin, he has lost his wife; his pat on the back; his second opinion; his shoulder to lean on; his shoulder to cry on but most of all his very best friend. A weaker man would be maddened, disillusioned for being dealt such a hand, but this man is taking all the positives of their life together and intends to build on them with his two beautiful children to continue life's journey.
It's all too common a phrase, 'only the good die young.' It is certainly true of this young woman who died in the Fall but was only in the full flight of Summer. Anne was a very brave woman to everyone who knew her. She fought many great battles with her illness and won but unfortunately lost the war.
The huge volume of people that attended the removal is a testament to the lady's popularity and humbling to Martin, Christina, Kevin, her mother Chrissie, her sisters, Margaret, Hannah, Carmel, Ina, Helen, brothers, Bill, Tom, Gerard, Tony, Brendan, Ian and the extended Maunsell and Ross families.
Martin, Christina and Kevin would like to thank those who passed through their home, the church and attended the burial in Rahela. Your prayers and support are of immense support and will help them get through this trying time.
We would especially like to thank Fr. Maurice Brick and Fr. Brendan Walsh who personalized everything so much and Fr. Patrick O'Brien who paid a glowing tribute to Anne on her final day of rest at her home. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. The Month's Mind will take place in Ss Peter's and Paul's Church Ballyduff on Friday, October 19 at 7pm.