Judy Wall obituary: An expert knitter and general all-rounder in the home

Lives lost to Covid-19: Just by looking at a photograph and without a pattern, a cardigan or jumper would fly up on her knitting needles

 Judy Wall: Hospitable to all visitors, she loved banter, had a hearty laugh and was fond of music

Judy Wall: Hospitable to all visitors, she loved banter, had a hearty laugh and was fond of music

 

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at irishtimes.com/covid-19-lives-lost. If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email: liveslost@irishtimes.com.

Judy Wall
1947-2020

Among Judy Wall’s many skills was her expertise at knitting. Just by looking at a photograph and without a pattern, a cardigan or jumper would fly up on her knitting needles.

The five Wall children regularly sported her handiwork. “We all had matching jumpers throughout our lives,” said her daughter Linda. And on St Patrick’s Day or a big event the younger children had Irish flag or other themed jumpers.

She would sew curtains and cushions and turn up trousers. A great cook, Judy was also a general all-rounder in the home, changing plugs, joining up wires.

These abilities may well have been the result of her early working life. Born Judy Campion on March 30th, 1947, in Mountrath, she was one of five siblings, with a brother Paddy and three sisters Peg, Lil and Eileen, who died almost three years ago.

A pupil at Tumera national school, at age 13 she started work housekeeping in the Mountmellick home of the Pim family who had extensive business interests in the town. This was where she met her husband Kevin Wall, who worked as a farmhand.

Judy later worked as a cleaner caretaker in St Vincent’s hospital in Mountmellick. Following their wedding in 1965 the couple lived in Derryguile, just outside the town where they reared their five children Linda, Pio, Conor, Martina and Josephine.

Hospitable to all visitors, she loved banter, had a hearty laugh and was fond of music, including Foster and Allen and country and folk singer Charlie Landsborough.

Bingo

Judy and Kevin were married for 44 years before his sudden death in 2009 aged 72. She never got over the loss. As time went by her memory began to deteriorate. She was first to recognise she had a problem and in 2015 tests confirmed early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Judy continued driving until a couple of years ago, going to bingo four times a week with a €1,600 win shortly before she gave it up. The last time Judy played her daughter describes it as “like a light switch went off, she just stopped”.

An animal lover, she particularly liked dogs until her last, a Bison Frise called Tiny, was knocked down. Heartbroken, she decided there would be no more pets.

She lived with her daughter Linda and granddaughter Becky, one of her 10 grandchildren, for as long as possible and then moved to Brookhaven nursing home in Ballyragget in January 2019. In November she transferred to St Vincent’s Community Hospital in Mountmellick, nearer her family.

She was in good form until about a week before her death when she got a kidney and chest infection and was tested for Covid-19.

Visits were banned but the family had regular Skype calls until the morning of her death when her children, wearing personal protective equipment, were allowed in briefly together to say their goodbyes.

She died on Saturday, April 11th at 9.30am, but it was only the following day the test result came back positive.

From the funeral home in Mountmellick the cortege drove to the family home in Derryguile where prayers were said and neighbours formed a guard of honour.

She was buried at St Joseph’s cemetery with funeral rites led by Mountmellick parish priest Fr Micheál Murphy. Judy Wall died aged 73.

Covid-19: Lives Lost

READ MORE