Kathleen Kay Cunningham's Memorial

Kathleen Kay Cunningham
(1921 - 2006)


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General Details

Name: Mrs Kathleen Kay Cunningham
Maiden Name: Greene
Gender: Female
Age: 84 years old
Lived: Sunday, 11 December 1921 - Thursday, 13 April 2006

My Story

Mum was born into a Family of 9 in Coolmeen.  After finishing school, she became a teacher and taught little girls.  She loved her work and ‘her’ children. 

She had a few romances, but had her eye on the Cunningham Boys!  Stephen had come home from years spent in Australia to take over the Family Farm.

They married on August 29th 1951 at St. Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Ave. Limerick. 

In 1959, I came to live with them, followed by my Sister, Marie, in 1962. 

Kathleen was a very humble person and always considered others more important then herself.

She started doing Bed and Breakfast in 1969.  She loved meeting people from all over the world. Most were lovely people and some returned year after year to stay with her. Quite a few remained friends for years and regularly wrote to her.

She loved the simple things in life and was always a very optimistic and positive person. She was very kind and loving to others, especially those in any need.  She had a wonderful gift of loving and accepting people just as they were…. 

When Dad died, she took 12 driving lessons so that she would be able to drive herself. She was always on the road after that!  She was very independent and took great pleasure in not telling us where she’d been if we asked!  She missed Dad very much – in truth, I don’t think she ever got used to him not being there. 


Sadly, about 6-7 years ago- things began to change for her…she started to forget things.  Sometimes she would hold her head in her hands and say “I am going mad”- Mum was sent for a brain scan which showed she had Alzheimers Disease.  Our worst fears were confirmed! We told her she had the disease as we felt she had a right to know.  We reassured her that we would care for her and keep her safe. 

We did not know anything about Alzheimers Disease. We did not know that it would steal her life away bit by bit until she became like a little baby again. We did not know the anguish and pain she would go though.  We did not know the unbearable pain we would go through, as we watched this cruel disease destroy our gentle Mother. 

She was so brave and courageous.  She fought so hard to overcome this dreadful disease, but slowly and surely, month- by- month, the disease crept up and took a little more of her.  As the disease progressed, we would try to communicate and comfort her any way we could…  We’d kiss her and hug her and stroke her hair and she’d give us the most beautiful smile that would make our hearts want to burst with happiness.  Alzheimers Disease is referred to as “ The Long Goodbye.”  

Caring for Mum throughout her illness was an honour and a privilege – it was a gift from God to be able to give her back a tiny fraction of the love and care she gave so selflessly to me throughout my life. For all it’s cruelty and bleakness, Alzheimers gave me the opportunity to have a deeply intimate relationship with Mum – it showed me sides of her I’d never seen and it brought out sides of me I didn’t know I had!  It was a bitter- sweet journey. Our lives will never be the same again, now that she is gone, but she will never be far from us – we have lovely memories of her and  she will live in our hearts for the rest of our lives…



Latest Tributes

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Heart Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Dearest Mum, I am thinking of you as the fourth anniversary of your leaving approaches... my heart is sore and my t...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Remembering you today, Mum...and missing you so much.... wishing you were here and I could talk to you. I have so muc...
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Dearest Mum... I think of you today on your third anniversary.... as I do every other day since you left me... How I...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: katemcch
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Dear Granny, Here is a bright yellow sunflower, similar in colour to your favourites, daffodils. There is a fiel...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: melissa
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In memory of your loved one.
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Oft in the stilly night, Ere slumbers chains hath bound me, Fond memory brings the light, Of other days around me,...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Two tired eyes are sleeping, Two willing hands are still. For one who suffered far too much, Is resting in God's w...
Memory Memorial Tribute
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Your gentle face and patient smile. With sadness we recall You had a kindly word for each And died beloved by all....
Song Dedication Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
Song Name: I'll take you hom...
Artist: Brian Kennedy
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Heart Memorial Tribute
From: Gerrimac
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Loving you and missing you Mum, more than words can say... Love Geraldine


Fathers Name: James
Country of Birth: Ireland
Country of Residence: Ireland
City of Residence: Co. Clare
Religion: Catholic


Favourite Sport: Football
Favourite Team: Shannon Gaels
Favourite Movie: The Late Late Show
Favourite Music Genre: Folk
Favourite Artist: Joseph Locke
Favourite Charity: Bothair


Place of Passing: St. Josephs Hospital, Ennis
Date of Passing: 13 April 2006
Cause of Passing: Alzheimers Disease
Type of Funeral: Wake for 2 days followed by Church Service and Burial
Place of Burial: Kilfiddane Cemetery, Coolmeen
Funeral Director: Kevin Tighe, Ballynacally, Ennis
Funeral Location: Labasheeda, Kilrush, Co. Clare
Funeral Date: 16 April 2006
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