Saturday 19 January 2019

Johnjoe made everyone laugh


Johnjoe O'Connor, who died aged 55 at Wexford General Hospital on March 26, was a bubbly character who made friends everywhere he went.

Johnjoe was the eldest son of James and Marcella O'Connor, from Carnagh, Foulksmills. Along with his brothers and sisters Marcella Anne, Philip, James, Elizabeth and Rose, Johnjoe enjoyed a happy childhood.

He attended Cushinstown NS and from a young age and developed a love of music - Elvis being his favourite go to artist.

He enjoyed listening to Irish and country music and was South East Radio presenter Tony Kehoe's biggest fan, often bringing him a Kit Kat as a gift for playing his requests, on occasion several times in one show.

He attended Westlands in Wexford town since the early 1990s and the staff and residents there were like a second family to him. Johnjoe would go into a crowd of people and make friends with everyone, such was his warm, friendly nature. A man of great humour, Johnjoe also made many friends at Wexford Disabled Club and in Rehab in Wexford town, where he attended daily.

He loved going to see Elvis impersonators and country music shows at the Dun Mhuire theatre.

His sister Rose said: 'Johnjoe was very close with his family. He would literally give you the shirt off his back and would always come home with small gifts for his nephews and nieces.'

Johnjoe's death occasioned great shock and sadness at Westlands where he received excellent care over many years. He returned to stay with family at weekends often, staying with Rose at Woodbine Close, and always enjoyed being back in New Ross.

Johnjoe was only sick afor a few weeks when he died aged 55 at Wexford General Hospital surrounded by family.

A large crowd attended his funeral Mass in Cushinstown where Fr Sean Devereux paid a war tribute to him, along with his close friend Fr Michael Byrne.

Wexford Able Disabled Group performed a guard of honour and Elvis songs were performed at the Mass in a special tribute to Johnjoe, while singer Stephen Murphy sang 'The Old Cottage Waiting in the country' at his graveside, a song Johnjoe used to sing to his mother.

Johnjoe was laid to rest afterwards in Cushinstown cemetery.

He is sadly missed by his loving sisters Marcella-Anne, Elizabeth and Rose; brothers Philip and James; his family in 58 Westlands; nieces; nephews; aunt Molly; uncles; great-niece; great-nephews; cousins; extended family and friends.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

New Ross Standard