The late George Keane
GEORGE KEANE, St Joseph's, Derrymore and Caherslee, Tralee, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 15, having been ill for a short period of time. George, a most affable and good humoured man, was known the length and breadth of Kerry through his work and also as a past president of Tralee Golf Club.
Aged 77, George was born on April 28, 1935, to parents Jimmy and Elizabeth Keane (nee Weir), of the Staff Barracks, Tralee.
One of seven children, his siblings were brothers Denis and Seamie and sisters Mary, Joan, Patty and Betty.
Educated by the Christian Brothers in Edward Street and at the old Technical School, Moyderwell, George grew up in Tralee post World War II in a tough economic climate, where jobs were scarce.
The love of George's life was his wife, Terry Hassett, daughter of All-Ireland and World Handball Champion, Joe Hassett. It was, in fact, at the old handball alley in the Green - where Siamsa Tire now stands - that they first laid eyes on each other and as they say, the rest is history.
They both emigrated to England, where Terry trained as a mid-wife and George worked initially for London Bus.
The contact of home and family was very important to both of them and when the time came, they returned to their roots. Tralee had changed a lot economically in the intervening years and George and Terry came to live in Blennerville, where they opened up a small shop.
It was as a driver of CIE and latterly as an insurance salesman with New Ireland Insurance, that George was in contact with people on a daily basis.
When meeting George, one was always assured of a smile on his face and a warm and cheery greeting.
New challenges were on the horizon when George and Terry sold the shop in Blennerville and built St Joseph's Nursing Home, Derrymore.
Terry's nursing skills came in to play and the experience gained in England was put to good use in setting up the new venture. George was always on call to help out and willingly gave of his time to ensure that Terry had his backing at all times.
Socially, George loved a game of golf and was a member of Tralee Golf Club, being honoured as club president.
The Old Reserves Golf Society saw George walk the fairways of the golf clubs of Kerry with his friends.
George never retired really from work, believing it was better to wear away than rust away.
His passion for golf continued up to this year until his health deteriorated and he hadn't the enthusiasm for the small ball.
George's family played a central role in his life.
His children and grandchildren, knew of a caring and loving father and grandfather, while his love for Terry was plain for all to see.
George was pre-deceased by his brothers Denis and Seamie and sister Mary.
He is sadly missed by his loving wife Terry, children Joe, Finbarr, Sinead, Peg and Liz, grandchildren, sisters Joan, Patty and Betty, sons-in-law, daughters-inlaw, nephews, nieces, relatives and many friends.
The removal of George's remains took place from Gleasure's Funeral Home on Friday, August 17, to St Brendan's Church, Curraheen. The hearse was flanked by guard of honour from Tralee Golf Club.
Requiem Mass was celebrated on Saturday morning at 11am, followed by interment in Annagh Cemetery.