THE great support which Nora McGowan gave to her adopted Derrygonnelly parish since settling there in 1973, was lauded by Fr. Cathal Deery in his funeral homily, recalling; “Daily and weekly Mass was central to her, she served as a parish leader.
“As well as building up the family home and rearing her family, she contributed to her parish and her diocese in various ways”.
Leading aspects of her involvement included membership of the Derrygonnelly Credit Union committee and St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society.
A lifelong Pioneer, she served as diocesan secretary and held responsibility for organising the annual dinner dances.
Locally, she would work with P7 Confirmation classes, encouraging pupils to abstain from alcohol until they were old enough to make up their minds for themselves.
Born in Derrylin, younger of two daughters of John and Rose Droogan, Aughnacloy, she spent her formative years there until marriage to Tommy McGowan in 1966
Tommy built their bungalow home at Cosbystown, where they resided ever since, blessed with a family of six daughters, one of whom, Rose, sadly died in infancy.
She worked in the local quarry and later in Leslie’s Bakery, Enniskillen.
Skilled with her hands, Nora was dressmaker, she knitted and painted, took art classes, beautiful samples of her talents symbolically displayed at the altar.
Prime among her interests and hobbies were working in her garden and playing bowls in Derrygonnelly and Boho.
She loved spending time in Donegal and travelling to Portugal while, “the bus to Knock never left Derrygonnelly without Nora on board”.
Nora experienced great pain in her life, the death of her beloved husband Tommy in September 1994 and her decline into ill health ten years later, but “her strong faith in God and the power of prayer sustained her”.
Nora is survived by daughters, Martina (Stephen), Irene (Kevin), Teresa (Gary), Nora (Glenn), Fiona (Mark), sister Mary Rose Maguire, sisters-in-law May (Reilly), Una (McGowan), brothers-in-law Peter and James McGowan and Brendan Maguire, grandchildren Mark (Leanne), Kathleen (Neill), Ronan, Roisin, Jason (Morgan), Shauna (James), Shea, Patrick (Sarah-Jayne), Nathan, Dylan, Ben, Oliver, Leo, Leah, Katie May, great-grandchildren, Raymond, Evie and Alfie.
She was predeceased by husband Tommy and baby Rose.
Following Requiem Mass in St. Patrick’s Church, Derrygonnelly, burial took place in the adjoining cemetery.
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