HUNDREDS of people have attended a service of thanksgiving in St Columba’s Parish Church for the life of Omagh woman, Mary McIvor, who died suddenly last weekend.
Mrs McIvor (nee Bell), who was aged 43, was an avid member of the Beragh Swifts Football Club. She worked for Kerr Bros and her death has caused widespread shock and devastation among her family and friends.
An active worker for the Parents Teachers Association and Friends Association at Omagh County Primary and Omagh High School, Mrs McIvor was also chairperson of the Friends of Omagh High.
Speaking at the service on Tuesday afternoon, Rev Ian Linton, wondered if her death was one of the moments in life when it feels that there are no words available to articulate what people are experiencing.
“None of us expected that we would be meeting today for Mary’s funeral service,” he told mourners.
“It was the thing furthest from our minds. And by all accounts, it was also far from Mary’s mind. For her, it was gearing up to be a very ordinary weekend – and for Mary, ordinary meant plenty going on.
“There were plans afoot for Saturday lunch out with some of the family and a concert in the evening. But at some stage through the night, darkness intervened in Mary’s life, and she found herself in a place from which she could see no way out. None of us can place ourselves in Mary’s situation at that moment. None of us will ever fully understand the mental anguish which overwhelmed her in that moment.”
Rev Linton went on to say that there were so many things in her life to be thankful for. He added that she loved her family deeply and that they were ‘very precious’ to her.
“Mary was full of life. She was bubbly, she was well known, and she was very likeable.
“She filled her life with activity that was focussed on making a positive difference,” he explained.
“Mary was someone who was gifted at organising the rest of us! Those who have worked alongside her at Kerr Brothers will have known how well she looked after the accounts.
“Two of the schools of our town – Omagh County Primary School and Omagh High School – know what lengths she went to support the schools through the PTA and Friends association – at the time of her death Mary was the chair of Friends of Omagh High,” he said.
“The same is true also of Beragh Swifts Football Club: Mary served on both the youth and senior committees and has helped take the club forward by leaps and bounds over recent years.”
Members of the Beragh Swifts club formed a guard of honour at the church on Tuesday afternoon.
Tributes have also been paid to her by her employers, Kerr Bros Bodywork Shop. Adrian Kerr said she was ‘simply irreplaceable.’
“I would class her as a friend as well as an employee. Mary would lighten up any party.
“She never forgot a birthday and was just brilliant and very well liked by all,” he added.
Ruth Elkin, principal of Omagh High School, said Mrs McIvor had a ‘long and loyal association’ with the school.
“She was a pupil, parent and most recently chairperson of our parents’ association, Friends of Omagh High School, in which she took a very active and leading role. She was always passionate about her involvement.”
Mrs McIvor is survived by her husband, Chris and her children Erin, Beth and Ross.