‘We are truly blessed to have had this lady as our Mum’
The family of the late Kathleen Stewart (nee McGahan) have put together a special appreciation for their late mother, on the first anniversary of her death:
On April 11, 2020, just nine days after testing positive for Covid-19, our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Kathleen Stewart, passed away at the age of 85.
Due to lockdown restrictions at that time, our mum’s final journey was less than she deserved, and our family was not able to honour her memory in the traditional way.
Mum was born in Ballina, County Mayo on December 18, 1934 to James and Bridget. She was the youngest of nine children.
She met dad, Don Stewart, in the Marine Ballroom in Enniscrone, County Sligo where he played in the brass section of a showband.
Mum and Dad married in St. Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina in June 1959, and mum moved to Derry and made it her home.
They had 10 children, Joseph, Breeda, Paul, Alison, Kathryn, Carmel, Donna, Don, Noel and Christine, 24 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
She always took great pride in the achievements of her family and celebrated each success with quiet admiration.
A hard worker all her life, mum started her working life in Derry in the shirt factories.
She then moved into the catering trade, serving at functions, Sunday lunches and weddings and it was during these years that she met some of her lifelong friends.
She enjoyed nothing more than good company and good craic with her friends in Ballina and Derry.
In our younger years, the Stewart family holidays were spent in Mayo where some great memories were made.
Mum’s big heart and welcoming nature meant that family friends were always welcome and often joined us.
When the children were older, Mum and Dad enjoyed their holidays abroad but were particularly fond of the pilgrimages.
Mum was a lady of great faith and strength, and this was even more apparent when she devoted herself to caring for our Dad through years of ill-health, and never complained.
In mum’s final years, the Stewart family were grateful to all of the services who contributed to her being able to continue living at home, which was so important to her - DEEDS Dementia Club, Bryson Care West and North West Care.
We are truly blessed to have had this lady as our Mum and are thankful that her final days were spent at home.
We would like to pay tribute to the Acute Care Team (Altnagelvin Hospital), Marie Curie Nurses, Abbey Medical Practice, Holy Family Parish, Fr. Gormley (St. Mary’s Parish, Creggan) and O’Brien’s Undertakers who supported mum and her family through her difficult final days in very challenging circumstances with dignity, compassion and empathy.