Posted by Kelly Fincham at 6/25/2009 3:32 PM EDT
One of Ireland's greatest voices was stilled last week in Ireland.
Mary McPhail, nee Dowdall, passed away in the Cottage Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, on June 16.
She was the beloved wife of Frank, much loved mother of Fran, Joe, Mary, Seanie, Kevin, Lilli Anne and the late Tom
Her family created this elegant tribute to her which was distributed at the church.
I have posted this tribute online for those who were unable to make the mass.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.
Mary McPhail (April 1, 1920 to June 16, 2009)
Mary was born in Chatham Street in Dublin in 1920 and while still a pupil at Leeson Lane Loretto won gold medals at the all Ireland Feis Cheoil.
Though untrained, she had a natural singing talent and by the age of 16 she was singing professionally at the famous Theatre Royal in Dublin.
Her career on stage and radio was meteoric and by the 1950s she had shared the stage with local stars like Maureen Potter and internationals like Judy Graland, Gigli and Nat King Cole—singing everything from Shubert to Gilbert and Sullivan.
It was during this illustrious career that she met Frank, also a singer in Radio Eireann, with a fondness for fast motor bikes.
They married in 1951 and their lives took a different direction. They had an adventurous life in Canada, France and America returning home in the 1960s still singing together and particularly so at family occasions. "This Is Our Lovely Day," was a favorite duet.
Mary’s favorite saying was "If you're going, go," and sadly, family members had to remind her of this on Tuesday morning in the Cottage Hospital and she quietly obliged.
A Tale of Two Singers and Many Cities
Mary loved her husband and her family
She loved ordinary things and ordinary people
She loved her privacy
She loved the music of Debussy
She loved the sound of Italian
She fed the birds every day.
'Every time we say goodbye...'
1/4/1920 - 16/06/2009