Paddy Nugent: Loving father who led by example
PADDY Nugent never forgot the advice his parents gave him many years ago: “Don’t let money be your number one priority, always put your family first."
It was advice he followed to the letter all his life.
Paddy was a loving father who led by example, teaching his three sons and five grandchildren a kindness and goodness that can be seen when you meet them today.
He had a lovely gentle way about him and made you feel important when he was talking to you.
The smile he always wore will be missed by many people today.
Paddy was born in 1946 at Gas Lane in Armagh to proud parents Patrick and Annie Nugent.
His father worked in the gasworks next to their house and was the lamplighter of old Armagh.
He had three brothers - Joey, Jimmy (who predeceased him) and Willie - and a sister, Marian.
In his young days Paddy was an altar boy and a choir boy. He was proud to say he served at Mass for many priests, including High Mass for Cardinals Dalton and Conway.
He was involved for many years with the church and was always very happy to give of his time and help out.
Each year he always looked forward to his trip to Knock Shrine in Co Mayo with his son Stephen.
The parish are very thankful to Paddy for all he did and the faith and example he’s left to his family and community.
As a teenager Paddy played with his brothers in their band The Models.
Their busy time was Christmas when they played at all the local factory dinners - Bairnswear, Slipper Factory, Fane Valley to name a few.
He loved playing the mouth organ and when it was his turn to sing his favourite was Dean Martin’s Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.
Paddy attended St Malachy's Primary School in Chapel Lane and always spoke highly of the teachers there.
He left in 1962 and worked for a while in the old Co-Op shop round the corner from Thomas Street. He then went to work in Ross’s chicken factory.
He married the love of his life, Imelda Hamilton from Banbrook Hill, on St Stephen's Day 1967.
They lived first in Gillas Row, then Ogle Street, then Callen Street and finally Desert Lane Gardens.
They had three sons, Stephen, Colin and Patrick, three boys they were so proud of, and were prouder still when their grandchildren Patrick, Meabh, Niall, Aoife and Dearbhla were born.
Paddy started work as a porter in Tower Hill Hospital and a few years later applied for and got the job he had always dreamed of - "an ambulance man”. A job he did and loved for over 40 years.
He always wore the ambulance uniform with pride and people would comment on how helpful and respectful he was when he called to take relatives to hospital.
When he retired Paddy spent most of his time in the garden and he and his son Stephen together made it what it is today.
He looked forward to his trip every Friday to Navan Fort outside Armagh with Stephen, his sister Marian and brother Willie, where they enjoyed their walk around the grounds before going into the restaurant for coffee and a chat, which was usually about the old days and all the characters they knew back then.
Sadly Paddy lost his battle to coronavirus on December 27. He was laid to rest alongside his wife Imelda in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Armagh.
His month’s mind Mass will be in St Patrick’s Cathedral on January 27 at 7.30pm and can be viewed its webcam.