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Soldier Denis and his devoted wife 'Lizzie' die just an hour apart

A SOLDIER and his wife have died within an hour of each other after 57 years together. Denis and Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Goff were devoted to each other until the very last.

The couple led a busy life on the Curragh army base, rearing six children there.

Denis, originally from Wexford, joined the army when he was just 19.

The soldier met the love of his life, Lizzie Murphy, when she visited the Curragh for a Christening in 1955.

The pair fell in love, married and settled down in Kildare, where they brought up six children -- Margaret, Marie, Elizabeth (Liz), Denis, Pauline and Sean.







Outgoing

Their daughter Liz Browne said that Denis never forgot his army ways.

"He was so neat and tidy in everything he did," she said. "Mammy was more relaxed.

"My mother was very outgoing but my dad was more quiet."

Denis spent 42 years in the army and in true family tradition, both of the Goff sons followed their dad into the service. There is now a third generation who have signed up too. Liz said that she wanted to join up, but was prevented from doing so because she was a woman.

"We just love the army, we're an army family," she said. "I would love to have been in the army. I was a gymnast in the Curragh. But it wasn't to be at that time."

The family grew up in the Curragh camp and Lizzie was a "brilliant homemaker" while Denis was working.

"It was a family in itself," Liz said. "We were all born and reared there.

"My mother was a wife at home looking after the children but she bonded with all the women there.

"We all knew each other. Nothing seemed too fussy, not like nowadays."

"If my mother was going for a walk with us for a picnic, there would be six or eight other children coming with her."

Liz said that her mum had a huge circle of friends.

"Everyone liked her. She just made everyone feel so welcome," she said.

Denis passed away in Naas Hospital on March 16 after a long battle with illness - he was being treated for a chest and kidney infection.







Cancer

Just one hour later, his wife Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Goff followed him.

Lizzie suffered from secondary breast cancer and had been in hospital a week before being transferred to St Brigid's Hospice, in Kildare, where she died.

The couple were buried next to each other in St Conleth's Cemetery, Newbridge.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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