City mourns for Julie

Thursday, 17 August 2017

City mourns for Julie thumbnail Julie Mann was laid to rest on Saturday

MOURNERS at the funeral of a young Armagh mother have heard she was someone who "always wanted to help others".

Julie Mann was laid to rest on Saturday, just over a year after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

During this time, the 27-year-old amazed family and friends with her resilience and determination to overcome her illness.

A devoted mother to her four-year-old daughter Katy, Julie was also a much loved partner of Kenny Boyd, a darling daughter of Fred and Alison Mann and a cherished sister of twin brother Jonathan and older brother Christopher.

Earlier this year, friends of the popular Orangefield Crescent woman rallied round and began to raise money to support Julie after it became clear existing treatments were no longer working. A total of 12,330 was raised in less than nine weeks for the popular young mother, showing the huge outpouring of love from the local community.

Indeed, less than three weeks before her untimely death, Armagh True Blues Flute Band held its now annual Big Breakfast in support of Julie and her family.

The untimely death of the young mother has stunned the community and left her family and many friends heartbroken.

On Saturday, hundreds of mourners packed into St Mark's Parish Church in Armagh, where the Rev Ivan Thompson - a friend of the family, who is the minister of Lislooney and Knappagh Presbyterian, paid a special tribute to Julie's short life.

"I want to take you back to a sunny afternoon in July last year on the beach at Cranfield and picture a young couple with their young daughter playing in the sand by the waters edge having fun together.

"Kenny shared with me a few days ago, the memory of that day he spent with Julie and daughter Katy. The significance being that the following evening, Julie took ill at home and as we all know, their lives changed forever that night.

"Julie grew up in a happy family home with Alison and Fred her mum and dad, twin brother Jonathan and older brother Christopher.

"It was a busy household and with Julie, there was never a dull moment - a bubbly personality who enjoyed a laugh." Rev Thompson recalled how Julie, a former pupil of City of Armagh High School, was always popular with the other pupils.

"We wouldn't say she was a diligent student at school, but Julie did what she had to do and outside school, Julie had lots of friends.

"Having sat her AS's that summer, Julie took a temporary job in Hamilton Court Care Home and it was that job that led her into a full-time career within the caring profession.

"Julie worked with sick children and more recently with mental health in the community - a job not without its challenges, but Julie was fond of her work; very much a people person, with a caring nature.

"There was one thing that Julie did well, and that was to talk.

"When she was in Primary 1, they had to split her up from twin brother, Jonathan because he wouldn't talk - Julie did the talking for both of them, Julie always had plenty to say.

"To Julie, from a young age, the family unit was always important. Her mum and dad describe Julie as the 'glue' that kept the family together.

"Every Saturday evening, they would all gather at the family home in Orangefield Crescent. Even when the grandchildren came along, they still got together on a Saturday night for some quality time together.

"It was in 2009 that Kenny and Julie met at a party and their relationship developed from there.

"There is no doubt the eight years they had together were certainly lived to the full.

"Their home is festooned with photographs, a visual record of many happy times spent together as a couple and as a family, when Katy came along in 2013.

"Julie was the sort of person who always wanted to help and was willing to try anything.

"She would have helped out in the workshop learning how to use the lathe, measuring and making sure it was all done correctly.

"When Kenny had to go away for a few days on business, more often than not, Julie would go along as well.

"But then Julie did enjoy travelling. She had what you would describe as an adventurous spirit.

"Kenny told me - for his 30th birthday - Julie bought him a sky diving experience which he wasn't that keen on, but Kenny guessed it was an excuse for Julie, as she bought one for her was well.

"Kenny described how Julie couldn't get out of the plane quick enough. Julie also had the trip of a lifetime when she was able to swim with dolphins.

"Katy was born in 2013. Julie took right away to motherhood, loved and cared for Katy.

"Many of those pictures on the wall at home recall those happy times spent together on the beach at Portrush, Cranfield, and probably the last holiday together in March last year to Disneyland in Paris.

"Katy was very much mummy's girl.

Unfortunately they enjoyed too few years together." Rev Thompson told mourners Julie had passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening at the Southern Area Hospice, surrounded by those who loved her most.

"The past year since Julie took ill on July 19th, 2016, has been difficult, not just for Julie but for the whole family.

"There really was no respite for Julie throughout her illness - Julie displayed a very strong character.

"During all of my many visits, Julie never complained. There was no pity party. Julie was a very strong person and I am sure Kenny and Julie and Katy are glad that they managed to pack so much into the short time they had together.

"That family unit was so important to Julie, where together around the bedside particularly over the last few days, when it was apparent Julie's days on this earth were drawing to a close.

"I would commend you as a family, who did all that could be done in such difficult circumstances.

"And, on behalf of the family, I wish to express their deepest gratitude to the staff of Newry Hospice for all your help and support over the last few months.

"And to assure Kenny and Katy, Alison and Fred, Christopher and Jonathan of our prayerful support as you come to terms with the sad loss of a partner, mother, daughter, sister and friend to many here this afternoon." Following the funeral service, Julie was laid to rest in Ballynahone Cemetery.

Donations in lieu of flowers are for Southern Area Hospice, C/O KG Cheevers and Son Funeral Directors, 28 Dobbin Street, Armagh, BT61 7QQ


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete