The late Mary Frances Pollard
1921-2012 MARY FRANCES Pollard (nee Day) slipped away peacefully at her home with her family on Monday, July 23, at Kielduff, Tralee. She was born on March 24, 1921.
She was the only girl and had three brothers Eddie, Alfie and Bob.
Her mother Jane died at a young age which meant that Frances had to take on an adult role and care for the men in the family.
She married the love of her life Thomas Pollard in February, 1950 and moved from Castlemaine to Kielduff where they set up home.
Not that long after, her brother-in-law Bill Pollard lost his wife, leaving a young daughter Frances, whom she took into her home to care for. Mary and Thomas had five children of their own - Richard, Frank, Hilary, William and Gladys.
She worked hard on the farm saving hay, feeding calves, milking cows, rearing chickens and turkeys and always had a turkey for all the family at Christmas. She also had a vegetable garden and was a very thrifty woman.
In 1968 a tragic accident claimed the life of her husband Thomas, brother Eddie and his wife, Frances. She spent time in hospital herself as she injured her back. After this, she had to take on the responsibility of rearing three nieces who were left orphans as a result of the accident, in addition to her own five children and Frances, her niece.
She took on this role with total devotion, courage and loving care. She also take on the responsibility of her father Alexander in later years to nurse and care for him in her home.
Mary loved to play a game of Whist, which she did in the local parish hall and always contributed to community and parish affairs. Her trip to Tralee on a Saturday morning to do the shopping with her daughter was one of the highlights of the week.
There she would meet neighbours and friends and have a chat. She liked style and always believed in dressing up when going out.
She had six grandchildren - David, Andrea, Stuart, Ivan, Aidan and Ashley, whom she took a keen interest and pride in and always told them to mind their education and do their books. She always said, things will work out and to take life, one day at a time.
In December, 1993, she was awarded the Securicor National Award by President Mary Robinson for her bravery and courage in coping with all the adversities in life.
She loved listening to Radio Kerry, watched the TV, read the papers, always keeping up with the news and indeed told her family things they did not know.
She was very alert right to the end and gave advice to anyone who was with her and was a mother-like friend to many.
It was a major milestone for her to celebrate her 90th birthday. Greetings came from far and near as well as friends to wish her well and thank her for her kindness, humanity and friendship. The house was full of flowers for the occasion, there was so little one could buy for her and she never drank or smoked.
For the past few years her health deteriorated and her footing failed. During this time she was lovingly cared for by her family and home carers - Eileen, Shaney, Caroline and Bridie. Dr Joe Arthurs was always on hand and described her as the miracle woman on more than one occasion.
She was a woman of quiet faith and never wanted her charitable tasks known. The Reverend Joe Hardy was her good friend and visited her regularly and he administered Holy Communion to her the Sunday morning before she died.
She was the main link and will be missed by all her family for her common sense approach, her ever unassuming and kind nature and loving care and no fuss approach to life.
She was a good neighbour and always helped on every occasion possible. This was borne out as her neighbours formed a guard of honour at her funeral. Interment took place in Ballyseedy longside her husband Thomas.
It was a true privilege to have been touched in life by this tremendous woman who always put everyone else before herself.
She will be deeply missed by her children, grandchildren, brother, in-laws, nieces, nephews and all family, relations and friends.
May she rest in heavenly peace.