One of Wexford's true gentlemen, Laurence Raymond McEvoy, passed away peacefully at Wexford General Hospital recently after a brave battle with cancer.
Known to friends and family as Ramie or Ray, Laurence Raymond was born on January 13, 1936 at 11 School Street, in the house he lived in all his life.
He is sadly missed by his wife Betty (nee Murphy), daughters Elizabeth and Antoinette, grandchildren Kevin, Ian and Aisling, Liz's husband David and Antoinette's partner PJ. His sisters Anna, Margaret and Eileen also deeply regret his passing and remember him along with their departed parents Hannah and Moses McEvoy, sister Mai and brothers Fintan and Brendan.
A quiet man, described by all who knew him as a gentleman, Ramie is fondly remembered by his brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces and nephew, extended family and all the wonderful friends, workmates and neighbours he had over the years.
Ramie and Betty were married in September 1966, and they had been looking forward to celebrating Ramie's 80th birthday and their 50th wedding anniversary next year.
Ramie worked as a cabinetmaker all his life, mainly with Slaney Industries at Windmill Hills in Wexford. He also worked in London during the 1950s, at a time when Irish people found it difficult to find employment there.
He worked all over Ireland in schools, colleges, churches, hospitals and hotels, including the Presentation School and Wexford General Hospital. Ramie took great pride and care in everything he did - you did something right or not at all. He leaves a lasting legacy in many beautiful pieces of woodwork - for example the main reception desk in Waterford Regional Hospital which still survives. He continued his woodwork until relatively recently, making one-off pieces or restoring clock cases including an impressive 19th century grandfather clock by Wexford maker Timpson, who supplied the clock for Rowe Street Church tower.
Ramie also had a great love of hurling and football, playing these sports as a young man, and never missing a Wexford match or final on TV or radio. He had a keen interest in local history and genealogy and took part in the Wexford Oral History programme - a recording of his interview is available at Wexford Library and on the library website.
He especially enjoyed folk music like the Wolfe Tones and the Dubliners. Even in his last hours he was doing his best to sing along to Waltzing Matilda and the Auld Triangle. He fought his own illness with admirable strength, courage and bravery without anger or complaint. The only thing he complained about was hospital food! He had high standards and loved to eat out - the Riverbank Hotel always spoiled him every Sunday for lunch.
His Requiem Mass was a peaceful celebration of his life, held at Rowe Street church on a gloriously sunny Saturday. Celebrant Fr Michael O'Shea commented on Ramie's strong faith and how until recent months, he attended daily mass in one of the town's churches - Rowe Street, Bride Street and the Friary. With a eulogy and readings by family members, the service had beautiful music provided by Therese Hartnett and John O'Brien, including a moving rendition of 'Going Home'.
Ramie was so proud of his grandchildren Kevin, Ian and Aisling, and would have been delighted that they brought up symbols of his life: a wood plane, a newspaper and his father's pocket watch, representing his love for wood, his interest in reading and current affairs, and his interest in clocks, history and family. He would also be proud to have been laid to rest in a Kilmore coffin, handmade from pippy oak by his former colleague Kevin Shiel, and to be buried with his parents in Ballymitty. Ramie's family said they wanted to thank all those who had helped during his illness.
Ramie is dearly loved and remembered by many. May he rest in peace.
'Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are…'
- Henry Scott-Holland.