Lives Remembered

Mary McKinney: Lady who loved Moy now reunited with her son and husband

Mary McKinney lived almost her whole life in Moy, Co Tyrone

AT Requiem Mass for Mary McKinney in St John’s Church, Moy, Fr John Connolly quoted the words of the Austrian poet Rilke when he said: “Two people who grow old together; each becomes the guardian of the other’s solitude."

Words which were very appropriate for Mary and her late husband Jimmy, who were devoted to each other.

The last 10 months have been difficult for the McKinney family and in particular for Mary (85).

Last November, she sat in her wheelchair at the graveside of her beloved Jimmy whose solitude she guarded and protected and whose death had a devastating effect on her.

They were married for more than 62 years and were rarely apart. Even in respite care, Mary couldn’t be separated from Jimmy.

Mary was born in Moy in 1934 and was one of five siblings in the Donaghy family who grew up in the Roxborough area.

She loved Moy and apart from a short while spent in Australia in the early sixties, never left the Co Tyrone village.

Mary and Jimmy, from the nearby Donnelly Hill area of Benburb, were married in 1957. They reared five children.

Out of the sadness of losing her son Francis in 1986 through a car accident came a much longed-for wish in June this year when his body was re-interred from Armagh to St John’s Cemetery, Moy beside her husband. Now the three of them are together again.

Mary was a prominent figure in Moy, from her 25 years as president of the local credit union, to her many years collecting for St Vincent De Paul, her interest in politics, the GAA and her caring for young children in her home.

During her wake a working parent recounted that when one of her children had taken sick at school, Mary dispatched her husband Jimmy on his mobility scooter to bring the child to their house.

Many of those children Mary minded visited her home and attended her funeral, something she would have been immensely proud of.

Families in the village witnessed her charitable work first hand. On many occasions when her St Vincent De Paul funds had been allocated she would have used her own resources, especially at Christmas, for toys, food and heating oil.

Her deep faith never faltered and when she became unable to attend Mass she was deeply appreciative of the visits given to her by Fr Connolly and Fr Hughes.

Even in her last weeks she was fully alert to current affairs and insisted on watching this year’s All-Ireland football final.

Mary died peacefully on September 21 in Craigavon Area Hospital. Her month’s mind Mass will take place tomorrow at 10am in St John’s Church, Moy.

She is survived by her children Lindsay, Margaret, Siobhan and Bronagh. Predeceased by her siblings Sheila and Patrick, she is survived by her brothers Edward and William.

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