Tuesday 22 January 2019

William was a family man with a fun-loving and gentle nature


The late Billy Rossiter
The late Billy Rossiter

The community of Ballyhogue was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of William 'Bill' Rossiter. William passed away on April 12 and a large congregation gathered to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral mass at St John the Baptist Church, Ballyhogue.

Born in 1925, William was the eldest of nine siblings and there were 21 years between him and the youngest. While he initially lived with his parents in The Ballagh, they moved to Ballyhogue 90 years ago and William remained there for the rest of his life, becoming part of the fabric of the local community. He attended the local school in Ballyhogue and it was there that he first encountered the love of his life Susan. It was a real love story and there are even photographs of the pair of them with all their classmates as young children.

The pair enjoyed many years of happy marriage and welcomed six children - Elizabeth, Tony, Billy, Michael, Bernadette and the late Nicholas. They were devoted parents and later in life William was a doting grandfather of 17, great-grandfather to 33 and great-great-grandfather to one. It's amazing to think the legacy that came from two youngsters from Ballyhogue NS falling in love.

In 2010, William lost his beloved 'Susie' and it had a massive impact on him. However, the family really rallied together and he was surrounded with love right up until his passing.

Apart from a few spells in England when work was scarce in Ireland, William spent his whole life in Ballyhogue. He was a proud Wexford man and wherever he went he brought a fun-loving attitude and gentle nature and he is fondly remembered as being a big messer. He always took great interest in the people he met and a simple journey to the shop to get the paper could take hours depending on who he bumped into.

Apart from his family, William's big passion was Wexford hurling and Ballyhogue football. He often told tales of the heroic deeds of men he had seen pull on the jerseys and there were none he was more proud of than his neighbour Phil Wilson who won All-Ireland Hurling medals with Wexford and several football championships with Ballyhogue. He had a great love for sports of all types, however, and it was a passion which endured his whole life. William also loved to socialise. At a party, he was often hard to get up on stage to do a song, but once he did, he was regularly one of the last to leave.

After a poignant ceremony, during which William's grandson Jonathan Power spoke eloquently about his grandfather's life, William was once again reunited with his beloved 'Susie' as he was laid to rest in Ballyhogue cemetery.

William was a beloved husband of the late Susan; loving father of Elizabeth, Tony, Billy, Michael, Bernadette and the late Nicholas and much loved brother of Dan and Nancy. He is sadly missed by his sons, daughters, brother, sister, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace.

Enniscorthy Guardian