Lives Remembered

John Kielt: Family, faith and good humour were foundations of life in 'Garden of Eden'

John Kielt lived in the townland of Eden in Co Derry

FROM his home in the townland of Eden in Co Derry - or, as he called it, the "Garden of Eden" - John Kielt built his life on the firm foundations of family, faith, love and good humour.

He was born in 1956, one of 10 children to the late Francis and Eileen Kielt, and enjoyed a happy childhood nourished by his mother’s warm, buttered sodas.

John loved sports and played soccer with Maghera Harps and Magherafelt Tech, winning a Northern Ireland under-16 medal.

He also played Gaelic football with Watty Graham's and was described as “a pacy, tenacious, dogged defender” - and many opponents had the bruises to prove it.

He later gave his time and expertise to the club by coaching underage teams and had an ability to connect with the young players. He spent many hours painting trophies in the team colours so they were personal mementos to be treasured.

John enjoyed other hobbies including photography and amassed a pictorial history of many of the club teams and players.

He also took cine films of events in Maghera of the 1970s including carnivals and sports days, leaving a record of many happy times from the past.

He was a hard-working, conscientious man, working in a variety of settings including Saville Row shirt company, Hyndman’s bakery and KBB.

John always made friends for life and brought his organisational skills as well as a sense of humour and fun to each job.

In recent years, he realised an ambition to run his own business. It was very successful due to his skills, honesty and integrity. He never gave less than 100 per cent to each and every customer and this was the happiest period of his working life.

John married the love of his life Majella Boorman in 1996, having been introduced by mutual best friends.

He immersed himself in the life of Greenlough parish with his usual enthusiasm and energy, contributing as one of the team of sacristans, as a reader and a chairman of the pastoral council.

The most important elements in life to John were his family and his faith. He had great love for all his nephews and nieces and on family occasions would join in the fun with all the children.

His deep and abiding faith guided all his daily activities and relationships and supported him through difficult times. John lived his faith with simplicity and love.

He was known by all for his great wit and sense of humour, although he also possessed the fiery nature of the redhead. However he never held a grudge and soon regained his usual good humour.

He was always the life and soul of a party, especially when accompanied by his alter ego 'The Scotsman', complete with kilt, string vest, tartan hat and wig - what a sight!

John was always generous and his final act of generosity was the donation of his organs so that others could have a future.

He was a loving and loyal husband, brother, uncle, granduncle, son-in-law and friend. All who knew and loved him will sorely miss him. We are proud he was our brother.

John’s month mind Mass will be celebrated in St Mary’s Church, Greenlough on Friday January 18 at 7.30pm.

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