The late Laurence (Larry) Curtin
1940-2012 LAURENCE Curtin of College Road, Castleisland, passed away peacefully in the Clonfert Ward of Kerry General Hospital, on Saturday, August 11, after a brief illness, with his loving family at his bedside.
Aged 72, Laurence was born on June 4, 1940, to the late Patrick and Maura Curin (nee Breen), 50 Main Street, Castleisland. His siblings are Dick (England), Maxi Fleming (Currow), Mike (Dublin) and the late Pa (England) and Martin (Castleisland).
He spent his childhood years in the town of Castleisland and would often recall the great characters and establishments of the town. He had many fond memories and fascinating stories of his youth and growing up with life-long friends Dave Geaney and Brendan O'Rourke.
Laurence was also educated in Castleisland and on finishing school turned his skills to painting and decorating, securing a position at Edenburn Hospital in 1962. He then progessed to St Catherine's Hospital and from there he would move to the community hospitals around Kerry as jobs were required to be done.
In April, 1984, Larry moved to Kerry General Hospital where he remained until his retirement in February, 2006, after 44 years service. Throughout his working life Larry made many special friends and after retiring kept in contact. This was done through his association with the Friends of Kerry General Hospital for which he fundraised in the Castleisland area.
Laurence was a family man. He married Lorna Hennebery of Manor, Tralee, on December 27, 1965 and they enjoyed 47 years together. He was a hard worker and provided a loving home for his family. They set up home in College Road, Castleisland, where they reared their five children - Lorraine, Louise, Patrick, Laurence and Ann.
He took a keen interest in their lives and well thought out advice was given freely and always in their best interest. As well as being a great husband and father, he was a wonderful grandfather.
His eight grandchildren - Sean, Eimear, Amy, Matthew, Joseph, Larry, Tadhg and Padraig brought him great joy and happiness. He took great pride in all their achievements, interests and hobbies. He gave them his time willingly and was always on hand offering to babysit or take them places. He loved them all dearly.
Laurence had a keen interest in all sport. As a young lad he was very involved in the local athletic and cycling club, winning a Kerry 50 mile novice championship race in 1962 along with many other accolades. He was also team manager of the Desmonds Cycling Club in the late 60s.
Laurence was a great judge of a good greyhound and reared many from his back garden. He enjoyed many successes with Cheeky Val and Pop's Flash, just two of the many winners he trained.
He took great pride in his local GAA club and the county's achievements on the football field. He was treasurer of the Desmonds Club during the 80s. The card drives during this period were a huge success in generating funds towards the redevelopment of the grounds and the trip abroad that the club took after winning the 1985 All-Ireland Club Championship.
His first trip to Croke Park was in 1953 to see Kerry winning the AllIreland final by beating Armagh. He saw Kerry win 20 of their 36 All-Ireland titles.
Every May heralded the beginning of a new championship season and Laurence was on the road again. Be it hurling or football it didn't matter. Position of seats, availability of tickets, form of the players and analysis of the games would be discussed well beyond the month of September.
His other great sporting passion was horse racing and he could be seen at any race meeting in the country. He attended the Cheltenham Festival the previous March. Even though he was always looking for a good tip, he was a great tipster having studied the form thoroughly.
Laurence always lived life to the full and enjoyed many adventures. He didn't need a drink to enjoy life, being a pioneer for 58 years. He liked to meet people and made friends wherever he went.
Laurence loved to travel, be it a weekend away in Ireland or a trip abroad to the sun. Quality of food, star-rating of the hotels, the best deal available were all contributing factors in deciding where he and Lorna headed off to next.
He was a keen singer, his favourite song being The Boston Burglar. He was a member of the Island Folk Group who won the ballad section of the Fleadh Cheoil held in Castleisland in the late 1960s.
Laurence was a man of great faith and belief in God with a special devotion to the Sacraments. Hardly a day went by that he didn't attend mass in the church in Castleisland and after his retirement, he took up the job of opening the church every morning, a task he was very proud to do.
Laurence's family would like to thank all who cared for him during his short illness - his GP Dr Dave Geaney, Mr Tom McCormack, Dr Patricia Sheehan, Joanne and the staff of the Palliative Care Unit, the nurses, carers, catering and domestic staff of Clonfert Ward, Kerry General Hospital.
Laurence is mourned by his loving wife Lorna, sons and daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, sister, brothers, other relatives and many neighbours and friends.
Laurence's remains reposed at Tangney's Funeral Home, Castleisland on Sunday, August 12 with removal to Ss Stephen's and John's Church that evening. Burial took place after 11am Requiem Mass on Monday to St John's Cemetery, Castleisland.
Month's Mind mass is on Saturday, September 8, at 7pm in Castleisland Church.
May his gentle soul rest in peace. Dia leat go deo.