Mrs Mary Bridges

MARY Elizabeth Bridges, of Cuan Beach, Killyleagh, passed away at Ringdufferin Nursing Home on February 11, aged 82. 

Mary was a respected and popular member of the community. She was always helpful, conscientious and generous without the need for something in return. A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Mary loved her family, and they were the centre of her life.

Born near Comber, Mary began her working life at Killyleagh Mill. She met and married her husband, Ernie, at a young age and the couple set up home in Bridge Street, where their children were brought up in a loving and neighbourly environment. 

Mary was only 51 when her beloved Ernie died, and she was to suffer a further blow when her daughter, Angela, died aged 37.

Possessed with a strong will and sense of purpose, she showed great determination by becoming a mature student and returned to work as a civil servant at Stormont, where she became a valued and trusted colleague. Mary treasured friendship and spent many hours pursuing her interests of dancing and travel and also enjoyed painting and poetry. She had a great sense of humour and was often the life and soul of the party.

From her home in Cuan Beach she delighted in watching her sons and grandchildren sailing off Killyleagh, especially when participating in the Bridges Cup.

In 2013 Mary suffered a serious fall, from which she never fully recovered, resulting greatly on her quality of life. After further spells in hospital, her deteriorating ill health finally meant Mary having to go to Ringdufferin Nursing Home where she spent the last few months of her life.

The Rev Colin Darling conducted a heartfelt funeral service on February 14 in St John’s Parish Church, Killyleagh, which was filled to capacity. Interment was in the adjoining churchyard.

Mary will be sadly missed by many and her passing leaves a gap that can never be replaced. The sympathy of the community is extended to her children, Marie, Clive, Don and Mark, ten grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.