TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Carrickmore woman whose funeral was told had been someone who seemed to have the ‘spirit to go on forever.’
A large attendance of people stood, socially distanced, outside St Colmcille’s Church in the village as the funeral of Mrs Mary Ellen McPhillips, was taking place last Wednesday.
She died on June 15 and had lived all her live in the Carrickmore area. Her husband Packie was a prominent footballer, having been on the Carrickmore teams which won Tyrone county titles in 1961, 1966 and 1969.
Mrs McPhillips, who was pre-deceased by her husband Packie, had worked in the local Post Office, was a Eucharistic Minister, a Pioneer for over 60 years and had a keen interest in community affairs and gaelic games.
Speaking at her funeral, the Parish Priest of Carrickmore, Fr O’Neill, said that while phrases such as ‘lockdown’ and social-distancing’ were ones that Mary Ellen would have appreciated for her crosswords, that is where the appreciation would have begun and ended.
“Those words represent the exact opposite of how she approached and embraced life. She loved people and social occasions and was happiest when she was at the centre of them,” he said.
“Her bubbly and lively character was formed through her childhood with her parents, sisters and brothers in a home that was happy and where values were lived and generously instilled.
“She shared many stories, including of her time working in the Post Office. She knew the country and the country knew her and fortunately she never once had an argument, but she did love a good debate and had a brilliant head for detail.
“She was blessed in her life with marrying Packie and fitted together perfectly despite having their own distinct character and style. They were so good together, shared so much in their lives, not least as a formidable duet on the dancefloor.
“The home that they formed together found its completion in their children and she was unshamedly proud of them. She was especially at home in any agegroup, she was always herself and people young, old and in between recognised that quality and had a lovely relationship with her grandchildren and she was part of all that was going on.”
Mary Ellen McPhillips is survived by her children Sinead (McGarrity), Padraig, Caitriona (McGarrity), Roisin (McGarrity), Sharilene (Loughran) and Finbar.
She is also survived by her siblings Peggy, Annie, Patsy and Bernadette and was pre-deceased by her brother, Danny.