Family of Peggy Cleary gather for her funeral while many more join the service online
Mourners at the Requiem Mass for the late Peggy Cleary were reminded of her great love of people, the joy she found in music and her generous and happy spirit.
Mrs Cleary’s family came together in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Mountcharles on Wednesday, while many more joined the service online.
Rev Francis Ferry said: “Peggy had many friends. She loved company, loved chatting.
“Peggy will be such a loss to many people, especially in Mountcharles.
“Main Street has been changed all of a sudden without Peggy being there.”
The celebrant said that Mrs Cleary was well-known and highly respected.
In her early years she worked in a solicitor’s office in Ballyshannon and it was during this time that she met her late husband, Seamus.
She remained very active, working for many years for the HSE and keeping busy in her restaurant and B&B in Mountcharles.
“She had a great working ethic,” said Rev Ferry.
Mrs Cleary’s love of music was well-known, and it was evident that this brought her great happiness.
“She had a piano in her front room,” mourners were told. “I am sure she entertained manys a guest there.
“And she would often break into song. She had a great happy spirit.”
The priest said that he had been wondering what song would be suitable to Mrs Cleary’s memory.
“It would be The Homes of Donegal,” he said. “Your hearts are like your mountains in the homes of Donegal.”
He added that Mrs Cleary’s party piece had been Danny Boy.
“She would sing it with great heart and grace,” said Rev Ferry. “It is fitting as we ponder on Peggy, a beautiful song on life and the afterlife.
“‘I will hear when you say an Ave for me.’”
The priest recalled that only the previous week he and members of the family had been praying a Rosary at Mrs Cleary’s bedside.
“We sang a song or two; we sang Danny Boy and Flowers of the Rarest. Peggy was there and we think she was listening, the way her hand started going and she whispered ‘Thank you.’”
Rev Ferry told mourners that Mrs Cleary’s own family would say that she was a good person.
“If you have somebody with a good heart in your life, those are the role models of society,” he said.
Describing her as virtuous, he went on to consider what it means to be a virtuous person.
“The dictionary definition is: honest, responsible, courageous, forgiving and kind. They do the right thing and don’t bend to impulses, urges or desires but act according to their principles.”
The celebrant said that Mrs Cleary was a woman who was always grateful.
“About two weeks ago she said, ‘I can’t complain. I have had a good life.’
“It is lovely to hear someone saying they are content with life.
“Also a thing she used to say frequently is, ‘I am getting old. I have to keep reminding myself.’
“And her over 90!”
Mourners heard of Mrs Cleary’s love of travel, he zeal for life, her desire to always be a help to others and not to be a bother to anyone.
“She would apologise if she was here today for putting us all out,” he said.
Mrs Cleary will be remembered by many people for all the different ways in which she touched people’s lives.
She is predeceased by her husband Seamus and brothers John, Steve and Seamus and will be sadly missed by her daughter Theresa, son Rory, brother Joe, sisters Marlene (Gallagher) and Patsy (Mc Callig), son-in-law Raymond Nolan, nieces, nephews, extended family and a wide circle of friends.
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