The late Christopher (Chris) Smith
FOLLOWING a relatively short illness, Christopher (Chris) Smith of 112 Connolly Park passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 1, at Kerry General Hospital.
Born in London, April 4, 1968, Chris was the first of five children of Helen (née Hanafin) and Christy Smith (Snr) who predeceased him in 1998.
While in London, Helen and Christy received great support from Christy Snr's aunt Mary and Noel O'Sullivan by whom Chris was considered one of the family.
When Chris was just a few months old the family moved back to Ireland and lived for a while in Mitchel's Court, Tralee with his adoring aunt Maureen, nan Katie, grandad Jack and grandaunt Lena.
A little while later they moved to Stack's Villas in Rock Street until finally settling in Connolly Park.
Chris attended Balloonagh Primary School and then moved on to the Holy Family School in 1976 where he spent many happy days under the guidance of Principal Micheal Hayes, Mr. Colm O'Daly and Sr.de Lourdes.
Chris always looked back on his early school days in the Holy Family School with great fondness and affection.
Chris later attended the Tralee Technical College for a few years and upon leaving, joined Anco in Tralee.
He then went on to work at a local joinery, a knitwear manufacturing company, and also as a gardener in Killarney's Muckross Gardens.
Chris was certainly one in a million, a true character who was loved by all. He saw the best in everyone and was never ever judgemental.
Chris accepted you for who you were, warts an' all.
He took great pride in the fact that he was a Rockie, a rocker, a Liverpool fan and a Connolly Park man.
As a Rockie, Chris was never happier than when he was marching down Rock Street, dressed head to toe in black and amber.
The sense of belonging and camaraderie he experienced through the Austin Stacks Football Club meant a lot to Chris and on his final journey to Rath cemetery the funeral cortege was flanked by a guard of honour of his fellow Rockies.
Chris' allegiance to the Austin Stacks was very generously reciprocated and his family would like to thank everyone at the club and clubhouse who assisted in the post funeral reception.
Chris the rocker loved his music. He revered Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Gary Moore, AC/ DC, Rory Gallagher and of course Tralee's very own Midnight Café.
Music played a huge part in Chris' life and he spent many happy hours listening to rock music and strumming solos on his electric guitar.
Chris was also a Liverpool fanatic. He adored his beloved Liverpool and his room, adorned in red and white, was testimony to this. Chris started following Liverpool in the mid 70's and remained a staunch supporter to the very end.
Chris realised a boyhood dream of his a few years ago when he visited Anfield with the local Liverpool supporters club.
Chris was very proud to call himself a Connolly Park man.
He was friends with everyone and all in the community welcomed him.
He often passed his days walking his beloved dogs Scooby and Jamie around Rock Street and Connolly Park, calling to friends and neighbours for a chat or visiting his local for a cup of coffee.
Chris was very popular in Connolly Park and this was evident with the touching display of Rockie and Liverpool flags on the house fronts during his funeral.
The support show by the Connolly Park community was overwhelming and was a great source of comfort to his family.
Chris' family would like to thank the staff of Kerry General Hospital who assisted and comforted Chris during his time in hospital; in particular, thanks to Dr O' Shea, Dr Waldron, Dr Jeffries and Dr Sheehan.
The courage, strength and dignity Chris showed during his illness was inspirational.
Chris had a beautiful innocent spirit and always remained positive despite the setbacks he endured.
Chris was waked from his home in Connolly Park followed by Requiem Mass in Our Lady and St Brendan's Church.
He will be so sadly missed by his family and friends.
Chris is survived by his loving mom Helen, brothers John and Joe, sisters Eva and Cora, sisterin-law Kathryn, brothers-in-law Mark and Chris, nieces Chloe, Ella, Nia and Tara, and nephew Luke.
He will be sorely missed also by his aunty Maureen, with whom he had a very special bond.
Until we meet again Chris . . . You'll never walk alone.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.