independent

Thursday 23 October 2014

Dedicated family man was active in sports

Published 28/11/2012 | 09:15

The late Don Wilks

1921-2012

THE DEATH took place on Thursday, November 15th of Donal (Don) Wilks of Annagh, Tralee in his 90th year.

Don and his wife Nora Houlihan, formerly of Strand Road, Tralee, retired to Annagh in 1986, under the shadow of the Sliabh Mish Mountains and in close proximity to the townland in which Nora was born and reared.

Don was born in India in 1921, where he was educated in St. Joseph's College in Bangalore. After finishing his education he intended to join the medical profession, but joined the Royal Air Force instead. His dedication to his career was rewarded with a promotion to Flight Sergeant during the World War II. He served with distinction throughout India and was later in charge of airlifting the troops from Burma.

After demobilisation from the force, he trained in London as an accountant and worked for the same firm in the city for over 40 years.

He also found time to meet and later marry the love of his life Nora Houlihan, daughter of Frank and Nora of Strand Road, Tralee in 1953, whose family are synonymous with the area and steeped in the history of the Kerins O'Rahilly's Club. Don and Nora's union was blessed with sons John and Peter.

Don was a dedicated family man, looking after them as much as possible. A keen sportsman throughout his life he played hockey for the Air Force during his time serving in India and tennis in London. He was involved in many tournaments with his club in the capital city and made many friendships as a result.

In 1986, both he and Nora decided to retire to Annagh, where they had built a bungalow. Here, he devoted his time to looking after his garden with loving care and attention. In his final years, he received great care from Dr. Holmes, the staff of The Bon Secour Hospital and of Clonfert Ward of Kerry General Hospital.

Don's family wish to thank Fr. Francis Nolan, who celebrated his funeral mass, to Tony McElligott and staff for the funeral arrangements.

The removal of Don's remains took place from McElligott's Funeral Home on Saturday, November 17 to St John's Parish Church, Tralee. Following Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Sunday burial took place in New Rath Cemetery.

Don is survived by his wife Nora, sons John and Peter, grandchildren Mark, Georgina, Duncan, Leonora, Nicolas and Matthew.

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