Saturday 21 September 2019

Charity worker Mary was a great cook and gardener

MARY MCGANNON ( Nee Swift) died at the age of 89 years.

Mary grew up in Wexford town; she was the third child in a family of nine children born to Katherine and Tom Swift.

Mary married Peter McGannon in 1943 and moved to live in Ballycoogue Arklow. The move was a major change for Mary as she had no experience of rural living, but Mary being the resourceful person that she was very quickly adjusted to the challenges of rural life. In was in 1950 that Mary moved to Ballinakill, Arklow.

Mary was a very creative person and she put her creativity to great use when raising her eight children. She was creative in gardening, cooking, knitting and sewing.

The vegetable garden that Mary cultivated provided the family with fresh vegetable all year. Mary loved to cook and she produced nutritious meals for the family using a lot of her own home grown ingredients; she baked her own bread, cakes and made her own jams.

With her sewing and knitting skills Mary made lovely clothes for her children, she understood the value in recycling decades before it became the normal thing to do. Mary would re-use wools and fabrics.

When Mary's eight children grew up, they had to move away to find employment, her eldest son Tom moved to Australia, sons, Patrick, John and Michael moved to England. Her daughter Katherine moved to England, Elizabeth moved to Mayo, Aine moved to Dublin.

Mary's youngest daughter also called Mary lived in Arklow, but sadly died in 2005.

The years following her death were very difficult for Mary. Mary's husband Peter died in 2008.

With her family now all moved away, Mary had some free time, so she decided to do some voluntary work; she became a volunteer for between ten and fifteen years in Mrs Quinn's Shop for the Blind. She also worked on the cleaning team in St Mary & Peter's Church for several years. Mary continued her voluntary work until she was in her mid eighties.

Mary moved to Asgard Close in 1986, where she continued her interest in gardening. The colourful display of pretty window boxes and hanging baskets were a delight to the eye as you walked through the Close.

Mary will be sadly missed by her family, and all who knew her.

May she rest in peace.

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