Great sadness at passing of craftsman Noel

The late Noel Hendrick.
The late Noel Hendrick.

It is with great sadness that the family of Noel Hendrick announces his passing on the morning of Monday, May 15, following a brave battle with a short illness.

At the age of 80 years, Noel died amidst the safe surrounds of his home and the comfort and presence of his family.

Throughout his life Noel continued and maintained a close association with nature and all things wild.

He was always a keen 'birdman' and kept the close company of birds throughout his life.

Their habits, their patterns their song, the places they lived, what they ate, he knew and understood all these intimately and closely and they were woven into his busy life almost to the time of his last moments.

This fondness for nature and wild places extended further into outdoor activities like fishing, soccer and later on his life he developed a love of golf, of course it was perhaps most evident during his running career.

His running witnessed a man who was free, a man who chose to run for miles in all weathers in the wild places of Wexford. Wild as over 55 years ago the forest at Culletons Gap, or the dunes between Cullenstown and Kilmore and Ballyteigue Bay were wild and lonely places.

The Newline Road at half past five of a winters evening, dark, raining, windy and cold, as every evening he stepped into his running gear and out into the darkness of the road, he embraced the connection to his own world and the freedom that running gave him.

He needed that freedom too - it helped separate him from his demanding work life.

A highly skilled joiner all his life, who managed to keep all his fingers, he demonstrated a fearless approach when faced with the opportunity to develop and expand his joinery business.

After leaving McCormack's to strike out on his own he formed a lifelong business relationship with Alfie Lacey and then later with Joe Culleton.

Initially, Noel established Whitemill South Joinery at his home at New Line then moved on to Whitemill Industrial Estate, back to New Line Road and finally settled at John's Street.

After more than 50 years of business there are surely many houses in Wexford that bear the mark of Whitemill South Joinery and Noel's handywork.

Defined by a sheer self-belief to win, modest in victory and impossible to live with in defeat, his work ethic, the rigor of constant training, his deadpan and dry sense of humor, a lack of extravagance which was reflected in his spiritual connection to the Franciscans and nature, people found him easy company. That is, unless of course, they happened to have met on the track!

And even then, at the end of the race, many people will have fondly remembered his great athleticism, sportsmanship and generosity of spirit.

Noel will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 54 years, Betty and his children, Jim, Catherine, Una, Emily, Noel, William, and Anne.

Noel will also be fondly remembered by his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and both by his sister Kitty and brother John. He will also be forever remembered by his very dear and well loved friends.

Noel was preceded in death by his brother Tommy, sister Peggy, his father John and mother Catherine.

Noel's Month's Mind Mass will take place on Saturday, June 17, in Bride Street Church, at 7 p.m.

Wexford People