The death occurred in St Luke’s Hospital recently of Mrs Ellen Wemyss, Killarney, Thomastown at the great age of 91 years. She was very well known and respected in the community and she will be sadly missed by her family and friends. Ellen was one of a family of eight children born to Kieran Walsh and Katie O’Connell, Only one of her siblings survives, Mrs Kit Crowe, Gowran Road, Bennettsbridge, herself 90 years old. Ellen was predeased by her husband, Johnny 25 years ago.
She began her working life at the age of 14, when she left school and went into service with Dr Murphy, in Thomastown and later with Hubert Butler and his wife Peggy in Bennettsbridge. They remained lifelong friends and during her time at Maiden hall she witnessed the work that Hubert Butler did during the second world war, helping refugees from Nazi occupied Europe to escape to America. Hubert also did a lot of research on the Wemyss family and Ellen was proud to inform her children that they had blue blood in their veins.
While working in Maidenhall, she learned the cooking and baking skills which she practiced all her life. She was famous for her brown bread, cakes, apple tarts and jam and friends and family enjoyed her hospitality over the years. She won numerous prizes for her produce in local horticultural shows and was very proud of her awards. She was a champion Irish Dancer and won many medals at various competitions.
Ellen married Johnny Wemyss in 1943 and the couple had nine children. Their family always came first and they worked hard to give them a good start in life. Despite losing her husband, Johnny, twenty five years ago Ellen continued to be there for her children and she was a very important figure in all their lives and a devoted grandmother and great grandmother. She enjoyed hearing about her grandchildren’s progress in school and when her great grandchildren came along they were a source of great joy to her.
She was an ardent follower of Kilkenny hurling and was a frequent visitor to Croke Park on All-Ireland day with her family.
Ellen loved flowers and would look forward to the summer when the front fence would have an abundance of fragrant roses as a result of Johnny’s hard work in the garden. During her time in the nursing home her children made sure that she always had flowers at her bedside. Her other great pastime was reading and she enjoyed the Ireland’s Own every week. Her favourite author was the late Maeve Binchy.
When it was no longer possible for Ellen to live at home she was looked after in Middletown Nursing Home, Courtown and later in Gowran Abbey Nursing Home where she was very happy and enjoyed the best of nursing care. Her final weeks were spent in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny surrounded by her family and here again, everything possible was done to make her comfortable.
The remains were received in the Church of the Assumption, Thomastown by Rev Dermot Ryan, CC. Also present was Canon Patrick Duggan, PP Tullaherin.
Requiem Mass was celebrated by Rev Dermot Ryan, CC Thomastown.The lessons were read by Charlene McDonough and Niamh Crowe(grandchildren)
Prayers of the faithful were recited by, Conor Fitzpatrick(greatgrandson), Eanna Crowe(grandson),Patrick Doyle(nephew)Noreen Dobbyn(granddaughter), Martin Crowe(son-in-law)The offertory gifts were presented by her great grandchildren and reflected her various interests in life and included,a family photograph, rosary beads and prayerbook, a cake of bread, a pot of jam, a Kilkenny jersey and a copy of Ireland’s Own. The beautiful music throughout the ceremony was by Roisin Dempsey (formerly of the group Anuna) together with the Thomastown Community Choir. Ellen’s daughter Teresa gave a very moving reflection on her mother’s life. Ellen was laid to rest in St Mary’s Cemetery, where the prayers were recited by Rev Dan Bollard, PP Thomastown. She is survived by her children, Ann, Noel, Imelda, Kieran, John, Helen, Mary, Teresa and Claire. 21 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren,sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister, Mrs Kit Crowe, Gowran Road , other relatives and a large circle of friends.