Annie Duffin had a youthful spirit
Published 19/01/2016 | 00:00
ANNIE Duffin of 2 St Mary's Park, Ballycullane, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2015, at Wexford General Hospital.
She was six weeks short of her 99th birthday.
Annie was born on February 8, 1917, the second youngest of eight children born to Denis and Annie Cadogan of St Leonards.
She was born nine months before the Easter Rising, at a time when the Irish government sat in Westminster and Wexford were All Ireland football champions.
Annie spent her early years working on the family farm.
In 1937 she married Ginger Duffin and moved to main street, Ballycullane.
Ginger was a veteran of the War of Independence and was the local hackney car owner.
The family home was a busy place with customers calling in regularly to be driven to various locations around the county, along with local farmers stopping in for a chat and a cup of tea.
Annie always kept an open door and had many friends in the area.
Family life became busy with the birth of children: John Nicholas (who died at birth), Denis, John, Michael, Anna, Helen, Brendan and Noel.
Ginger passed away in 1975 and Annie, who was still a young woman, commenced the next stage of her life which comprised of lots of travel and bingo.
She was a frequent traveller to New York to see her son Denis and his family, as well as a legendary trip to Australia to visit her youngest son Noel with the return via San Francisco and New York, a journey that was made unaccompanied.
If there were All Ireland medals for bingo, there is no doubt that Annie would be the equivalent of a Kerry footballer or a Kilkenny hurler.
In her prime she was out several nights a week in places like New Ross, Adamstown, Camross, Carrig on Bannow and Campile.
She was not the stereotypical 98-year-old and took great interest in fashion, always wearing the most elegant clothes and Annie was very liberal in her views and was always at the centre of discussions. She had a youthful spirit and was always interested in the latest trends.
Having exceptional baking skills while raising seven children in the 1940s and 1950s was a great advantage and Annie was well-known for her brown bread and apple tarts.
She baked a batch of mince pies a couple of days before taking ill in early December.
Life was not always wonderful and the passing of her son Denis and daughter Helen in 2000, along with the death of her grandson Ivan in 2003 were painful experiences.
Annie lived in Ballycullane for 75 years until 2013 when she moved to Duncannon to live with her daughter Anna and son-in-law Paddy.
She loved living by the sea, but was always delighted to receive visitors from Ballycullane.
Annie was a well-known and popular woman with an estimated 1,500 people attending the wake at her home in Ballycullane.
St Martin's Church was overflowing for her funeral mass on Wednesday, December 23.
Her remains were moved to The Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy, Cork, for cremation.
She dedicated her life to her family and the love that she gave them was unconditional. She leaves behind her five surviving children; grandchildren; great grandchildren; and great grandson.
May she rest in peace.