Tribute to Ellen Kelly

Ellen Kelly

Ellen was a regular at the Saturday evening Mass, attending with her son John, until her health prevented her from doing so towards the end. This is his tribute to her.

Eileen Kelly was born on 18 April 1930 in Limerick, Ireland. Although she was christened Ellen, she was always known as Eileen. Mum was the 6th born of 12 children, having 7 brothers and 4 sisters. Mum came to England to work in 1947 when she was just 17, and she would visit her aunts and cousins in Potters Bar frequently.

She met the love of her life, our dad Jim, at a dance and they married on 27 February 1954. Dad always joked that he got her to cook him bacon, cabbage and potatoes before he decided to pop the question! They had 5 children – John, Catherine, Noreen, Pauline and Dolores – and in 1967 the family moved from Old Street to Newington Green where they lived until 2002 when Mum and Dad moved to Welling with John.

Whilst we were young Mum had a cleaning job, working early mornings and evenings. After moving to Newington Green, she got a job as a dinner lady at the local secondary school and would often regale us with funny stories about her day at work.

One of Mum’s qualities was kindness. She always wanted the best for her family, and we all have our memories about how she encouraged us and helped us. She had a lot of compassion for people; she was really quite socialist in her views and believed that everyone deserved to be treated with respect and dignity.

She was incredibly hard working. In addition to working at the school she invested so much time and energy in her family, cooking fantastic dinners and giving us a safe, secure and loving family home. Her apple pies and bread pudding were legendary!

She had a great sense of humour and an ability to make people laugh. She was devoted to her family and loved having everyone around, always finding time for us. She adored our dad, Jim.

She was interested in politics and she loved a lively debate – Question Time was a ritual on a Thursday evening. She had strong views and was able to put her point of view across.

Mum was a really lovely person and we were blessed to have her in our lives for so long. We will miss her greatly but will always cherish her memory.

John Kelly