The Wexford community was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Clonard resident Judy O'Brien (née Lydon), who passed away peacefully on December 30 in Kerlogue Nursing Home.
Born to Irish parents in London in 1943, Judy made her first connection with Wexford when she met the handsome Jimmy O' Brien from Maudlintown in the late fifties. The pair married in 1960 and went on to have four sons Anthony, Seamus, Gary and Ian. In the early seventies, Jimmy was offered a job in ABS Pumps and so, the family moved across the water to Wexford. They were one of the first families to move into the new Clonard Park estate in 1973.
Although she was not born there, Judy truly embraced life in Wexford and was a well-loved member of the community. As her sons got older, she got a job in ABS, where she spent almost 20 years working in the canteen and on the shop floor. Outside of work, she was a member of the social committee of St Marys Maudlintown for many years.
Judy never learned to drive and had no inclination to do so. For her, walking down to the town to do her shopping and bump into friends was much more enjoyable. Many people from around Wexford came to recognise Judy and all who knew her loved to stop and have a chat. As a devoted member of Clonard Parish, she was also a familiar face at Sunday mass and volunteered to help out at parish bingo nights.
Judy was a woman of deep Catholic faith but it was not something that she tried to force upon others. She was far from judgemental and was very open-minded when it came to other faiths and beliefs. Throughout her own life, she lived as a committed Christian by being kind, caring and considerate towards others.
All who knew Judy will agree that this loving nature was something that Judy held from a young age. When her mother passed away unexpectedly, an 11-year-old Judy worked hard to bring strength to the rest of her family. Later on in life, she left her job at ABS to nurse her sick father Marcus. She also devoted herself to looking after her brother John and beloved husband Jimmy in their final days.
Judy's gentle and caring nature was not restricted to humans alone. She had a huge passion for animals and was very concerned with animal welfare. Throughout her life, she almost always had a pet and looked after them as if they were family. Two of the most memorable additions to her home were her Springer Spaniel Bruno and her fluffy cat Snowy who both lived very long lives.
Though she devoted much of her time to others, Judy still found time to engage in some hobbies. She was an avid reader and always had a book on the go. Crosswords were another interest of hers and she made sure to complete one in the paper every day.
Not long after Jimmy's death, Judy developed dementia and after some time she had to move into Kerlogue Nursing Home. Although her family were saddened to see her leave her home, they were assured that she would be well looked after. Judy was made as comfortable and happy as possible by all members of staff until she quietly left us in late December.
Family and friends from across Ireland and England congregated in the Church of the Annunciation in Clonard on January 2 to say farewell to their beloved friend. All who came shared memories of the gentle, caring person who will be remembered as an absolute lady. Judy's eight adoring grandchildren also paid tribute to her, with each one participating in the funeral mass.
Judy will be sadly missed by her loving sons, grandchildren, close niece Linda, extended family, relatives and friends. May she rest in peace.