Faith always played a huge part in Mary's life

The late Mary O'Dowd


THE DEATH has occurred of Mary Anne O'Dowd (nee Morrissey) of Tonbwee and late of Castleisland, Co Kerry. Mary, ex Castleisland Vocational School, passed away peacefully on Wednesday in the loving care of the matron and staff of Our Lady of Fatima Nursing Home, Tralee.

Mary was born on July 26, 1927 in Brosna, Co. Kerry, one of six children born to Cornelius and Eily Morrissey (nee Woulfe). Con Morrissey ran a local pub and Eily taught in the local national school.

Her siblings were Rachel, Kitty, Sheila, Peggy and Eddie.

Mary received her primary education in the local national school, following which she boarded in the Loreto, Killarney along with her sisters. She studied Commerce in UCC, graduating in 1948.

Following her graduation herself and Kitty went to England where she taught in Wolverhampton and Accrington, Lancs.

During a visit home she met Laurence (Larry) O'Dowd from Castlemaine at a dance in Ballybunion. This meeting led to them getting married on July 31, 1963 following which they lived in Brosna until they built a house in Tonbwee,Castleisland.

During this time Mary taught for a while in the Vocational School in Abbeyfeale, while Larry worked with the Farm Development Scheme (FDS) in the Department of Agriculture.

They were blessed with two daughters – Deirdre and Frances.

Mary started teaching in the local Tech in Castleisland and taught there and in the new Community College until her retirement.

Faith always played a huge part in Mary's life. She had unwavering devotion to Padre Pio and Our Lady.

Her retirement allowed her the time to travel to Lourdes, Knock and San Giovanni.

Music also played a huge part in her life and she was a brilliant pianist who gave hours of enjoyment to everyone who listened to her play.

She was never more pleased than to see Deirdre marry a past pupil David Butler from Currow and Frances marry Tony Ryan, a Tipperary man.

Following Larry's death in 1999 she kept active looking after and showing off her grandchildren Jack, Michaela, Lauren, Scott and Adam.

In 2009 she moved into Our Lady of Fatima Home in Tralee where she happily lived until her death on February 20th 2013. The care and attention she received from the staff there was exceptional and Mary considered it her home.

Month's mind mass for Mary will be held in Castleisland on Tuesday, April 16 at 7pm.