Mr Mark Fitzimons

THE passing of Mr Mark Fitzsimons, of Russell Park, Downpatrick, has been widely mourned.

His untimely death occurred on Monday, June 11, after some weeks spent in the Downe and Ulster hospitals.

Mark was the youngest child of Barney and Maureen and is survived by his siblings Maura, Barney, Dolores, Annette, Elaine and Mickey.

Mark was born prematurely in Hardy Greer Hospital and attended both St Patrick’s Boys Primary School and De La Salle Secondary School.

Mark was a great man of faith who was at his happiest visiting many shrines and holy sites, including Medjugorje, Rome, Knock, Lough Derg — on 13 occasions — Lourdes, Fatima and the Holy Land.

He also attended the Youth Mass of Pope John Paul II in 1979 in Galway and Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Scotland in 2010. Mark also had the privilege of visiting John Paul II’s home in Wadowice and the home of St Faustina Kowalska in Krakow.

Mark was a member of the Legion of Mary for many years and spent his time visiting the sick and infirm in the local hospitals and in the community. Mark’s strong faith also led him to attend the annual Clonard Novena over many years.

Mark, though single, was very much a family man. He was dearly loved by his extended family and will be fondly remembered as an uncle and great uncle.

Mark’s only surviving aunt, Una, and many of his cousins knew him to be a gentle and kind person.

Mark was employed for most of his working life as a kitchen porter and made many lasting friendships through his work.

He was well loved by his friends and neighbours in Russell Park, where he lived all his life and was also held in high regard by those who knew him from his school days and growing up in Downpatrick.

Mark will be best remembered as a humble and loving man of faith, who was generous of spirit and had the unique ability to make people smile and laugh at the simplest things in life.