ON JUNE 18, 1957, Paddy and Mary Callanan made their wedding vows “until death do us part”.
But movingly, the couple never parted as they died within a day of each other and were buried together on Monday.
Eighty-six-year-old Mary passed away at home in Garryduff, Oola on Thursday around 11.45am. The following day Paddy, aged 94, died in St Anthony’s Nursing Home surrounded by his loving family at 4.45pm. He turned 94 on Easter Monday.
After almost 57 happy years of marriage they were only apart for 29 hours before being reunited in heaven.
Paddy and Mary were laid out together at the family home in Garryduff, Oola on Sunday night and laid to rest together in Emly cemetery the following day.
At their joint requiem Mass, Fr John Morris said it was very poignant but “there was something beautiful there. They were very popular members of the community, absolutely lovely people.
“The phrase ‘until death do us part’ on their wedding day, I made that analogy in my homily that it didn’t part them. They were lovely, gentle caring people,” said Fr Morris, who extended his sympathies to the family.
Paddy had only been ill for the last month and Mary’s passing at home was unexpected.
They had one daughter Joan. She, her husband John Lohan and their children Jean and Padraig lived with Paddy and Mary in Oola.
“It was very sad to see the two hearses leaving the yard and the two coffins at the Mass. It is something you would never imagine would happen,” said Joan.
But while it is a terrible shock to lose two parents in two days, Joan says that it is comforting to know that they are together again.
The Callanans were very popular in the parish.
Mary, from Solohead, was a housewife while Paddy was a dairy farmer, who was also employed by CIE. The hardworking man often milked the cows before going to work, and milked them again when he came home.
They had a long happy life together and it was only in the last few weeks when Paddy had to go to hospital that he was away from home for any length of time.
Indeed, Joan describes them as “homebirds”.
“My father never drank or smoked in his life. They liked to go into Limerick once a week and go for something to eat,” recalled Joan.
The sorrow at the passing of Paddy and Mary was reflected by the large attendance at their reposal in the family home in Garryduff, requiem Mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Oola and burial in Emly cemetery.
They are sadly missed by loving daughter Joan, son-in-law John, grandchildren Jean and Padraig, extended family, relatives, neighbours and many friends.
May they rest in peace.