Josie had great faith and was for­mer house­keeper at the Bishop’s Palace

Wexford People - - NEWS -

Mrs. Josie Roche (nee Mythen) of Hill Street who has died at the age of 87, was a for­mer house­keeper in the Bishop’s Palace in Summerhill for sev­eral years. Josie who was born on March 5, 1930, passed away at her daugh­ter Noeleen’s house in Mul­gan­non on Au­gust 23.

She is sur­vived by her daugh­ters Mary and Noeleen; her sons Larry, Michael and An­thony; her grand­chil­dren Daniel, Ciarán, Mikey, Sarah, Dy­lan, David, Adam, Fionn, Cian, Jack, Katie and Han­nah and by her ex­tended fam­ily and friends.

She was pre­de­ceased by three chil­dren Rosario, James and John who died in in­fancy and by her hus­band Lar who passed away in 1977. She was also pre­de­ceased by her broth­ers Tom, Paddy, Larry and Mike and by her sis­ters Nancy, Lilly, Paula and Gretta.

Josie grew up in Fran­cis Street, one of nine chil­dren of the late Tommy and El­iz­a­beth Mythen. She was the last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of her fam­ily.

She was ed­u­cated at the Pre­sen­ta­tion school and left at the age of 14 to work as a house­keeper with the Doyles of Water­loo Road whom she re­garded as a sec­ond fam­ily. For a short pe­riod, she worked as a nanny for a fam­ily in Sus­sex in the UK.

She met Lar Roche, a na­tive of Wex­ford and they were mar­ried in Rowe Street Church on Jan­uary 9, 1956. They set­tled in Hill Street and had a fam­ily of five chil­dren. Fol­low­ing Lar’s death, Josie was left a widow at the age of 46 and with five chil­dren to rear on her own, she went out to work. She was em­ployed in the kitchen in the Pre­sen­ta­tion Con­vent in Fran­cis Street and dur­ing the 1980’s, she took up a po­si­tion as a house­keeper in the Bishop’s Palace in Summerhill when Bishop Bren­dan Comiskey was in res­i­dence and she re­mained work­ing there for six years.

In her younger years, Josie was a great knit­ter - she could knit a jumper in a night - and she also en­joyed bak­ing tarts on a Sun­day af­ter­noon. Jam-mak­ing was an­other of her skills. She and her friend Mary Spar­row whom she knew from the age of four, would go walk­ing in the coun­try­side to pick black­ber­ries for jam.

Josie never learned to drive al­though her hus­band Lar did of­fer to teach her but she loved go­ing for drives on a Sun­day. Lar would take the fam­ily on what they called ‘mys­tery tours’ that weren’t all that mys­te­ri­ous be­cause they usu­ally ended up in Forth Moun­tain.

Josie loved head­ing off in the car and ‘get­ting out among the peo­ple’, as she termed it.

She en­joyed rem­i­nisc­ing about the old days in ‘Duke’s Lane’, now Thomas Clarke Place. She was very loyal to her friends and never for­got her roots. A woman of sim­ple tastes, she en­joyed shop­ping and loved Dunnes Stores. Up to last Christ­mas, she or­gan­ised up to 40 sav­ings books for Fr. Gaul’s Penny Bank in Sel­skar on be­half of fam­ily mem­bers and neigh­bours, col­lect­ing money and de­posit­ing it for them each week.

In 2007, she was di­ag­nosed with bowel cancer but her deep faith helped her pull through and she lived an­other 10 years. She had a de­vo­tion to the Sa­cred Heart and St. An­thony and up to last year at­tended Mass three times a day. She went to Mass in Rowe Street Church ev­ery morn­ing at 8.30 am and could be found there again be­fore 5.45 pm Mass, light­ing can­dles for spe­cial in­ten­tions. She at­tended 1 pm Mass in the Fri­ary. She was a mem­ber of the Third Or­der of St. Fran­cis which is a lay move­ment of men and women who model their lives on the chris­tian mes­sage.

Her fu­neral Mass in Rowe Street Church was fol­lowed by burial in St. Ibar’s Ceme­tery, Crosstown. Josie’s fam­ily would like to thank the staff at Wex­ford Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal; her on­col­o­gist Mrs. Calvert; the staff of Cur­ran Med­i­cal Cen­tre in the Faythe; Wex­ford Hos­pice Home­care; the Pal­lia­tive Care nurses; car­ers Grace and Lily and the dis­trict nurses who at­tended her.

They are also very grate­ful to her won­der­ful neigh­bours and friends in Hill Street.

The Month’s Mind Mass will take place in Rowe Street Church on Satur­day, Septem­ber 23 at 6 pm.

The late Josie Roche.

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