Generous person with a good heart

The late Nora Kelly (nee O'Connor)


NORA O'Connor was born 10 July 10, 1921 Bally Gaw [parish of Moor] Dingle, West Kerry Ireland at the time of the ceasefire in the Irish War of Independence.

Her father John said she would bring peace wherever she went. Indeed she was a kind peaceful person. Being the second child of 13 children in a family of thirteen, six of whom are deceased, Tomás [died as a baby], Mary, Kathleen, Bridie, Seán and Pat. She was a native Irish speaker from the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht.

Nora's mother, Catherine (Kate) was a distant relation of Peig Sayers of Blasket Island fame, while her father, John was a noted storyteller, with sound recordings lodged in the National Archives. Nora's older sister Bridie and younger brother Pat carried on the tradition in music, storytelling and Irish language

Nora attended St Eirc's National School in Moorstown, Feohanagh being a good pupil she opted for Nursing in preference to Teaching. Starting her career in Tralee Hospital then later in Listowel Hospital.

She migrated to England 1941 to nurse at Clare Hall Sanatorium, South Mims Hertfordshire doing work of national importance helping Tuberculosis victims from the London Blitz before the advent of anti biotics.

Later she worked in Central Middlesex Hospital and Fulham Hospital (now Charing Cross Hospital). She met her husband Paul in Hyde Park being introduced by her sister Kathleen. In 1948 she married Peter Paul Kelly originally from Gort, Co Galway, Ireland. They moved to Acton, to Goldsmith Ave, W3 in 1955.

In 1958 they took the licence for the ' Elephant's Head' in Camden Town during the great post war-building boom. Camden Town was a big centre the Irish for Community in London.

In 1961 they took the licence for The Adelaide Pub House Chalk Farm NW3 and in 1965 The Kings Head Acton W3.

Nora and Paul were prominent in the local life in Acton and Ealing. Paul would raise money through sponsored walking towards an annual Christmas Turkey Lunch for Acton Pensioners. The Guest of honour was the Mayor and Mayoress of Ealing.

Nora was a gifted cook and organiser and behind the scenes organised the catering at the Kings Head. She had a First Class reputation as a caterer for weddings, parties etc.

The Kings Head welcomed celebrities such as singer Engelbert Humperdinck, bandleader Benny Goodman. World heavyweight champion Joe Louis, actors Kenneth Moore, Angela Douglas and strongman Butty Sugrue.

Nora and Paul visited Canada and USA in 1985 and she visited Australia with her sister Una Manning in 1994.

Paul passed away in 1987 At home in Fordhook Ave Ealing Common W5

She took a keen interest in the work of Footsteps Arts based at the Litten Nature Reserve Greenford, providing catering for the membership at events and holistic workshops with the very prominent Dr Pietro Pizzo MD.specialist in Holistic Psychiatry.

In 1995 while out walking near Ealing Town Hall she tripped on a poorly laid paving stone and had a serious accident and went to hospital in an emergency ambulance.

This meant she had to have a hip replacement and walk with a stick. It impaired her quality of life. Nora persistently pursued her claim against Ealing Council for ten years untill she won her compensation. It was an achievement.

Joe was her carer spending time with Nora at supper. It was a chance to talk and unwind. Nora was the Matriarch of the Kelly clan and proud of her family.

She was a very kind and generous person, with a good heart for those in need. A good Christian, she always kept abreast of current affairs and took a keen interest in life and in people.

Nora was a good listener. She was not arrogant, she used to say 'you're always learning'.

She was a superb housekeeper and experienced shopper and always made an important and lasting contribution to family life. Her party piece was the song called 'Liverpool Street' which she might sing if she got enough encouragement from her fiends.

Nora had a stroke in 2009 consequently she moved to The Meadows Care Home Oldfield Lane [North] Greenford Middx.

She passed away 8.50pm shortly after a bedside visit from Marian and Shara on Monday, October 15, 2012. There was a traditional Irish wake to mark her passing. Mass was at Our Lady of the Visitation on November 2 and burial at Gunnesbury cemetery.

Nora is survived by her children Joe Kelly, Sheila Wenham Marian O'Brian, sons -in -law David Wenham and Conor O'Brian and her grandchildren - Alain Wenham, Kelly Wenham and Suzannah Wenham and Shara O'Brien, sisters, Peig, Josie, Eileen, Terry, Una and Angela.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.