Farewell Charlie, one of the town's last shoemakers
Charlie Fitzsimons, Donaghmore, Kilkerley, Dundalk one of the town's last cobblers and shoemakers, died peacefully at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital on June 28th just ten weeks after the death of his beloved wife, Barbara (née Hilditch).
Charlie never came to terms with her death. They were a close and devoted couple, who spent 30 very happy years together after they re-met and married in middle age.
The couple first became friends when Charlie travelled to England on holiday only to go their separate ways after a couple of years. Barbara married but was widowed early into this marriage. Their friendship was then revived and blossomed some 20 years later when Barbara's two children had grown up.
As a result the couple married and Barbara moved to Dundalk to live as they set up home in Kilkerley. Charlie ran a business on Castletown Road where he hailed from after setting up on his own after years working in the local shoe industry.
He worked for 15 years in Hallidays, and utilised the skills and knowledge he acquired to successfully establish a shoe making and mending enterprise.
He was one of eight of a family of the late Charlie and Brigid (née Kerley) Fitzsimons, comprised of six daughters and two sons.
He was fond of music in his youth, playing the bag pipes in St. Brigid's band, and did a lot of touring with the band.
His main hobby was fishing, enjoying the relaxation of fishing along the river banks of the lakes in Cavan and Monaghan.
He also was a member of the local branch of the Council for the Blind having an impairment that resulted in the loss of his sight in his later life.
He was predeceased by his brother and four sisters. His passing is very deeply regretted by his sisters, Mary Mc McManus (Castlebellingham Nursing
Home) and Carmel Murray (England), nephews, Paddy and Adrian, nieces Connie, Louise, Myra and Carol, step son Graham and step- daughter, Clare, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends.
After reposing at Shevlin's Funeral Home Barrack Street, Charlie's remains were removed to St. Joseph's Church, Fatima where Very Rev. Gerard Campbell P.P., Kilkerley celebrated Requiem Mass and gave the eulogy.
During the Mass the Readings were given by James Gardiner and Patrick Greene while the Prayers of Intercession were led by Darragh Greene, Ciaran Greene, Brenda McCluskey, Lesley Carron and Pat Murray.
The Offertory Gifts were taken to the altar by Connie Gardiner, Carol Shannon, and the gifts that symbolised Charlie's life were presented by Aidan and Geraldine Greene.
Burial followed in the adjoining cemetery.