Eleanor Butler (nee Power), New Road, Lisronagh, Clonmel passed away on Sunday October 12 in St. Theresa’s Hospital in Clogheen after a long illness, bravely borne.
Everyone has their own memories of Eleanor Butler – as a wife, mother, grandmother, cousin, friend and work colleague. To all these roles she brought her humour, warmth and honesty.
Eleanor was an only child, the much adored daughter of the late Richard and Abina Power (Glenconnor, Clonmel and Lisronagh). She enjoyed a very special relationship with her parents for all of their lives. Richie and Abina had a great sense of fun and encouraged their daughter to make the most of all her opportunities in life.
Eleanor was educated in Lisronagh National School and went to secondary school in the Presentation Convent in Clonmel. She went on to work in the office of Currans Signs, Fethard Road, Clonmel and later in the office at Orchardstown Stud Farm where she was highly regarded by both management and her colleagues.
She possessed a great love of music and dancing and this extended to the world of Irish dancing. As a child she was a pupil of Miss O’Meara in Clonmel. Many of her friends will remember Eleanor at a young age, driving with friends to see the premier showbands of the 1950s, including her favourites Brendan Bowyer and Joe Dolan.
In the late 1950s Eleanor met Sean Butler from Fethard. They married on April 10 1961 and had three children - Ruth, Pamela and John. Family meant everything to Eleanor – everything that she did was for her husband and children.
She encouraged both her daughters to dance from a very early age and from school she brought them to Irish and Ballroom dancing classes, to Feis competitions, to music and drama classes, to Scor na Nog competitions, to pantomimes and musicals throughout the country. Eleanor embroidered dancing costumes late into the night for her daughters and they were practised to almost perfection! Sometimes they got it right and came home with trophies and cups. Other times it didn’t go so well but Eleanor was always there with a kind word and a plan for next time.
She encouraged her son John to take part in sport of every kind and hugely enjoyed watching him and his team-mates compete in football and hurling. She was a devoted supporter of Liverpool Football Club and attended many games at their home ground Anfield and was sometimes spotted on television at various snooker championships!
Eleanor worked tirelessly to develop her local GAA club Moyle Rovers and cheered them on during their great successes in the 1990s and beyond. She was one of their loudest supporters and attended many matches with her great friend Mary McGrath. Perhaps they should have paid half price as they only ever watched one team! She also made an exceptional sandwich – enjoyed by many Moyle Rovers players and visitors.
Eleanor’s energy and determination led the way in everything that she did. She was a wonderful wife and mother and together with her husband Sean they prepared their three children to face the world as adults.
John’s wife Sarah gave Eleanor the greatest joy when she made her a grandmother, first with Jamie and again more recently with Cian. She always had photographs of the boys with her and would happily recount Jamie’s latest victories on the playing or running field to her friends. Jamie has spent many happy holidays in Lisronagh and Eleanor cherished those times.
Deep and rewarding bonds were at the heart of Eleanor’s relationships with her extended family of aunts, uncles and many, many adored cousins. Lisronagh and Clonmel were holiday destinations of choice for many in the Murphy and Power families and their bonds were very strong across the seas and years. Cross words were never a currency, just warm welcomes, plenty of tea and good listening skills.
She was very blessed in her friends, many remaining close for all of her life. Good friends will remember her tap on their window or door and many hours spent sharing the news and problems of the day, be it old friends that she visited at home and in hospital, close friends from her school days in Lisronagh and Clonmel, new comrades from work in Currans and Orchardstown, new chums made both at the school gate and in the various shops and outlets in Clonmel. She had a wonderful interest in people and was always ready to exchange a kind word with everyone she met along the way. She was also highly regarded for her practical advice, ready wit and honesty.
Eleanor fought her battle with cancer bravely since she was first diagnosed in 1999. Over the years she was under the expert medical care of her GP Dr. Gerry Sullivan and his team at Mary Street Medical Centre; Mr. Peter Murchan, Professor Seamus O’Reilly and the Oncology team at Cork University Hospital. Over the past year her family were very grateful to have had wonderful assistance also from Siobhan Halpin (Public Health Nurse), Nurses Kathleen Murray, Anne Grace, Suzanne Collins, Nora Lyne and Ann O’Shea (Home Care Team) and Home Helps Caroline Balfrey, Emma Morrissey, Mary O’Donnell and Veronica O’Donnell. The family also convey their thanks to Kevin O’Gorman and all at O’Gorman’s Pharmacy in Gladstone Street, Clonmel.
Eleanor’s family will be forever grateful to Anne Hally (Matron) and the doctors, nurses and all the wonderful staff of St. Theresa’s Hospital Clogheen. Eleanor spent the last few months of her life in their wonderful care and they made her so comfortable and were so kind and welcoming at all times to all the family.
Eleanor passed away peacefully in Clogheen, surrounded by her family, on Sunday October 12. Her family thank Fr. Peter Ahearne, Parish Priest of Powerstown and Lisronagh who paid regular visits to Eleanor both at home and in Clogheen and who celebrated her funeral Mass. Fr. Pat Butler, Clogheen, who became such a great friend of Eleanor’s while she was in hospital and Fr. Bobby Power, who attended Eleanor the week prior to and on the night of her passing, concelebrated her Funeral Mass and brought such wonderful comfort to her family. A sincere and heartfelt thank you also to a dear friend Gillian Fennessy who sang so beautifully in the church, both on the night of the removal and on the day of the Funeral Mass. Thanks are also extended to organists Tony Egan and Eamonn O’Malley and to the Church Sacristan Nancy Fanning for all her help.
Thanks also to Sean and Ann Condon, Funeral Directors, who looked after all the funeral arrangements with sensitivity and professionalism and to Hotel Minella and the Halfway House Rathronan who provided refreshments. Her family also thank Eleanor’s many cousins and friends who travelled from the UK, Scotland, Northern Ireland and various parts of Ireland to visit her in her final months and who were a great source of comfort to the family.
Eleanor will be sadly missed by all who knew her, in particular her loving husband Sean, who never left her side during her final year; her daughters Ruth and Pamela, son John, grandsons Jamie and Cian, daughter-in-law Sarah, son-in-law Nigel, Ruth’s partner Declan, Eleanor’s godson Joe Kelly (Clonmel), her cousins May Kelly (Clonmel), Jim Power (Lemybrien, Co. Waterford), Eileen Davidson (London), Marina Jones (Scotland), Johnny Murphy (Ballydesmond, Co. Cork), Maureen Morgan and PJ O’Kane (Co. Derry), Eileen O’Kane, Bridget Mullens, Tommy O’Kane, Patrick Murphy, George Murphy, Eileen Murphy Neale and Joan Murphy (London), the extended Power, Murphy, Kelly, O’Kane and Butler families and her many, many friends.
Eleanor, you gave us all a tremendous amount and we are so very grateful. We will strive to hear your voice in everything that we do all the days of our lives. May you rest in peace.
Eleanor’s Month’s Mind Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, December 14 at 12 noon in Lisronagh Church.