Marie Quigley - an appreciation

The late Marie Quigley.
The late Marie Quigley.

Do you believe in angels?

Well our friend and esteemed colleague the late Marie Quigley firmly believed in them. That is why when she was laid to rest in the Garden of Angels in the City Cemetery following a beautiful funeral Mass in the Long Tower church, which she had pre-arranged herself in great detail, she must have been sublimely happy. In fact Marie had tried to make her passing as gentle as she could for everyone around her and although the sorrow was palpable it was also a joyous celebration of her life. Listening to her family recounting their fondest memories with such humour and affection at her wake and funeral dinner was testament to the love and happiness which existed between Marie and the rest of the family. Marie was born and reared in South End Park in the heart of the Brandywell area of the city. She was extremely proud of her roots and all through her life she displayed the strong community spirit and neighbourliness which thrived in that area. An area with a rich culture of self help which supported marching bands, football clubs, and boxing clubs etc long before government funding and grant aid were heard of.

It was fitting therefore, whether by accident or design, that she devoted her entire working life, over forty years, to the service of the members of Derry Credit Union. Coming from her background it wasn’t hard for her to become imbued with the co-operative, self help philosophy and ethos of the Credit Union movement. But at that time when she applied for the job the Credit Union was in its infancy and her father Dan, a well known local milkman, checked out with his customers the permanency of her employers.

However Marie thrived in the Credit Union and developed in her formative years under the management of the late Sean Drummond for whom she had the greatest respect and always referred to affectionately as Mr.D. Sean often said that when you got any information from Marie Quigley you can be sure it has been thoroughly investigated and all is dotted and all ts crossed.

She found her niche however in the Loans Section where she served as Senior Loans officer for many years and lately as acting Operations Manager of the Loans Section.

Marie’s contribution to Derry Credit Union is immeasurable and her legacy will be the example and training she gave, over many years, to all involved in Credit Committee work.

As the organisation grew, so did Marie’s knowledge and acquaintance of the membership. She could empathise easily with their financial and economic problems and her decisions on loans were always made in the best interests of the member and the credit union. Her calm easy going way was attractive to the members. That is not to say when necessary Marie shot from the hip and told it as it was. All delivered with a disarming smile.

Her incredible mental capacity to absorb massive amounts of knowledge and loan history of members, which she could retrieve instantly, was amazing. My abiding memory of Marie. however, is her trudging up the CU car park in her big grey overcoat in the middle of winter to enjoy her morning cig.

Love and respect were instilled in Marie from childhood together with loyalty, honesty, integrity and tolerance. Qualities which made her such a great asset to the credit union.

Marie was totally devoted to her children whom she loved dearly. Their happiness was paramount.

She also enjoyed the relaxation of gardening and was happy and content to potter about in her garden or sit in the sunshine enjoying the peace and tranquillity with a glass of Cloudy Bay and a cigarette or two.

When Marie was admitted to hospital last April, she patiently endured numerous tests before a rare form of terminal cancer was diagnosed. After the initial shock she set about dealing with her situation with great dignity and inner strength. Her acceptance of her illness was unbelievable and she grew in strength to carry her immense burden with courage, dignity and patience. Her ability to put her affairs in order in calm and orderly fashion was extraordinary.

When these were completed to her satisfaction, her family all taken care of and her funeral arranged down to the finest detail Marie appeared more at peace. She never gave up hope nor did she rule out a miracle such was her relentless faith. Her trust in God’s will and the Holy Spirit was absolute but Marie passed away August 12 last.

She was predeceased by her mother, Isobel and her sister Isabel (Bell)

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

To Marie’s father Dan, her sisters, Kathleen and Amelda and brothers Tony, Danny and John, her daughter Kate and sons Ciaran Emmet and Alan we offer our deepest sympathy on behalf of The Board of Directors, volunteers, management,staff and members of Derry Credit Union and the wider Credit Union community .

May she rest in peace