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In Appreciation, John Joe Noone

My family lost a great man this week. My dear cousin John Joe Noone, 74, of Carrick-On-Shannon, Ireland, died suddenly August 21, of complications during heart surgery.

I met John Joe twenty years ago during my first trip home to Ireland to search for my mother’s relatives. Armed only with a camera and my grandmother’s birth certificate, I walked around town until I found Cryan’s Pub where I began asking questions of the locals. John Joe Noone and his wife Mary, son John and daughters Virginia and Eithna were the first cousins I met, and they welcomed me into their home and their lives and introduced me to more of my Irish cousins.

What I found were not long lost relatives, but my mother’s first cousins. John Joe, Vivienne Taylor, Eamonn Reynolds, Frank Keane and others were direct links to my grandmother Frances Keane Riley, who I had never met. It turned out that I even had many more cousins closer to my own age.

John Joe was 54 when I met him. A farmer all his life, I don’t think I ever saw him without his rubber work boots on. In his youth, he was a brilliant Gaelic footballer and I well remember him sitting in front of his black and white TV watching matches called in Gaelic. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a kind word on his lips to everyone he met.

The last thing he said to me on my trip to Ireland in June 2012 was “I hope I’m still alive the next time you come home to Ireland.”

Farewell John Joe, we will miss you.

slán a fhágáil mo chara

Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 under Blog. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 responses to “In Appreciation, John Joe Noone”

  1. Mary Mc Dermott says:

    Mary thats just beautiful and so true , well done xxxx

  2. Nancy Noone Broussard says:

    So sorry I never was able to meet him. My sister and brother in law did go to Ireland a couple of years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the family. Someday – sooner than later – I will go.

  3. Charles Riddle says:

    I just found out about his death. I do not know if my wife, Susan Noone Riddle knows yet. It is very early in the morning and she is asleep
    .
    This is a wonderful testimony and I can say that when my wife and I went to visit them in 2011, we found all that you wrote to be true.
    I will be looking for some of the videos we took of John Joe to post on Facebook.
    He blessed my wife and me greatly, as did the whole family. I am deeply saddened.
    Charles Riddle

  4. Aisling Hanna says:

    I wonderful tribute to John Joe.
    A true ‘Gentle’man. He and his family open their house and their hearts to so many. He will be greatly missed.

  5. Loretta Doherty says:

    Beautifully photographed and written. I endorse every word. John Joe (my childhood neighbor) was a special person. R.I.P

  6. Margaret Birkby says:

    Salt of the earth. RIP John Joe.

  7. Florence Doherty says:

    A very beautiful tribute to John Joe. A great neighbour, and as stated, always with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. May he RIP.

  8. Jane Glassman says:

    These beautiful pictures have captured the essence of John Joe. The twinkle in his eyes, his pride in family, his deep interest in warm conversation and his love of a good cup of tea. And of course his famous wellington boots! His death leaves a gaping hole in all our hearts. Rest Peacefully Dear John Joe!

  9. michael garvey says:

    its nice to see so many lovely pictures of ye all..

    Mam and I were just talking on the phone of when catroina was been born and daddy left us at the noones, when he went to sligo.

    I remeber always getting a dinner from Mary and a good laugh from John Joe and playing round the back yard… Love the picture of Enithe and Virgina…

    Its a pity I won’t see Him again when I’m home… It was always a pleasure… I’m thinking of you all fondly here… I’m greatful to have such good memories of lovely neighbours…

  10. I only knew John Joe a short time but he was a friendly, honest man who was held in high esteem. He will be missed. Am glad you were able to connect with your Irish relations.

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