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