Wexford People

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Former proof reader Michael was kind and gentle

Michael Lucking, whose death occurred on Monday, April 24, was a former proof reader with People Newspapers.

A member of a well-known Wexford family, he was the only son of Michael and Nan Lucking. His father served as Manager of People Newspapers for many years. Michael had one sister, the late Kathleen, who was a librarian in the County Wexford Library service.

Michael had been afflicted by a slight physical disability from birth. In his early years, when he was living at Davitt Road North with his family, he was unable to take part in many of the games played by his peers, but he enjoyed their company and readily contributed to the banter and the craic. Highly intelligent and academically bright, Michael had no problem completing his school examinations, even though his delicate health frequently kept him away from classes.

After leaving school, he became a valued member of the staff of People Newspapers where he worked as a proof reader until his retirement more than 20 years ago at a time when new technology was making the position of proof reader in newspapers redundant.

When he acquired a car, he loved to explore his native county of Wexford. On a fine day, he would set off perhaps to a seaside resort where he would happily spend hours enjoying the scenery or watching the passing parade.

Michael was a huge fan of classical music and he loved opera. He was delighted when RTE introduced Lyric FM, which promptly became his programme of choice. The German tenor, Fritz Wunderlich, and the Italian soprano, Renata Tebaldi, were amongst his favourite singers. His collection of operatic records was the envy of many of his friends.

A man of few words, Michael was a very private person. He may not have had much to say on the topics of the day, but the comments he did make were generally notable for their sharp wit as well as their wisdom. He was self-contained and, in his retirement, he was happy to spend his time reading, listening to his music and going on frequent motor trips to scenic areas of the county.

He never married and, after the death of his parents, he lived with his sister, Kathleen, in the family home at St John's Road. He was very attached to his sister, and it was a huge blow to him when Kathleen passed away. Indeed, not too long afterwards his health, which had never been robust, began to fail. He spent a number of years in full time care in Carraig Tur Nursing Home, Enniscorthy, and later in Cherryfield Nursing Home, Ballygarrett, before transferring to Kerlogue Nursing Home when Cherryfield closed.

In recent times, he took little interest in current affairs, but he always became animated when former colleagues reminded him of times past in People Newspapers, and the stories about People personalities like the late Toddy Rossiter and Ernie Kelly never failed to bring a smile to his face.

In recent months, Michael's health was gradually deteriorating, but he never complained. He will be remembered as a kind, gentle and undemanding person of strong faith who was happiest when he was at home in the company of his family. He was aged 84 years.

Interment took place in St Ibar's Cemetery, Crosstown, following Requiem Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rowe Street, celebrated by Father Michael O'Shea.

Wexford People