Larry Clarke, Old Muirhevna, Dublin Road, Dundalk, who has passed away, was well-known in his adopted town for operating a blinds business over many years.
He died peacefully in the wonderful care of St Oliver Plunkett Hospital on 5 October 2021, less than three weeks before his 91st birthday.
Originally from Carrickacromin, Co. Cavan, he was born on 24 October 1930, the youngest of 10 children, five boys and five girls of Kate and Tom Clarke.
Larry’s mother died on his 50th birthday at the age of 91. He was her pride and joy, particularly as he had severe pneumonia at six weeks of age, and it was feared he would not survive.
Larry attended Clifferna school, walking there every day, and after finishing formal education he started working in Cavan Town in Providers drapery department at age 16.
He stayed in digs and cycled the 15 miles home on days off. He made lifelong friends in Cavan.
Larry then moved to Boles of Boyle, Co. Roscommon before moving to Dundalk in 1962 to set up his first business in Park Street with his brother Gerry.
He subsequently established LC Blinds where he remained until retirement.
Larry married the love of his life Maura Kelly from Mary Street North, Dundalk, on 27 August 1977 and they went on to enjoy many years of good health and happiness together.
However, in recent times when Maura’s health began to fail Larry took exceptional care of her until two-and-a-half years ago when she went into St Oliver’s Nursing Home where he subsequently joined her for his final three months, and where they both received kind care.
Larry was a man before his time. He had a cine camera, boat, went on camping holidays and sunshine holidays. He could turn his hand to anything and was a gifted carpenter.
He loved fishing and took films of many family events with his camera in the days before video.
Larry had a wonderfully dry sense of humour. He knew the value of things, was nobody’s fool and had a sharp mind and memory all of which combined helped him become a successful businessman.
He was kind and considerate too. Maura’s mother Susan lived with them in Muirhevna for several years. He had also helped care for his father-in-law James.
His nephews and nieces retain fond memories of visiting the house on Point Road when Larry and Maura lived there and later calling into their home in Muirhevna; as well as holidays to Port beach where he owned a caravan and the big effort he made for them at Christmas.
Larry was the last surviving member of his family generation. He was predeceased by his parents and siblings, Sr. Teresa, Rita, Cornelius, Kathleen, John, Agnes, Maureen, Tom, and Gerry.
He is survived by his wife, Maura, brothers-in-law, Don and Gerry Kelly; sisters-in-law, Mary, Jackie and Mary Kelly; sister-in-law, Joan Clarke; nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces, relatives, and friends.
After reposing at McGeough’s Funeral Home, Jocelyn Street, Dundalk, his remains were removed on 7 October, via Dublin Road, to the Holy Family Church where the thoughtful and beautiful funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Derek Ryan.
Eulogy delivered by Kathleen Gilheany who with her family took exceptional care of Larry in their family home in Swanlinbar earlier this year.
Readings were given by Elaine Kelly McCann and James Clarke, while prayers of the faithful were led by Gerry Kelly, Michael Kenny, Niall Kelly, Donal Kelly, and Oisín Kelly.
Symbols of Larry’s life, a marquetry picture, fishing reel, mobile phone and plate, were presented by James Clarke, Paul Kelly, Andrew McBreen and Eamon Kelly respectively.
The offertory gifts were taken up by Loretto Kirwan and Marie McBreen.
Beautiful music was provided by Brendan and Sarah McCourt.
Cremation took place in Glasnevin Crematorium.