Death of Jack Grimes, Ballyshannon
Pauric McShea has shared some memories of the late Jack Grimes of The Mall, Ballyshannon, who passed away on Christmas Day. The 67-year-old businessman was well known and highly regarded throughout the northwest, through the family bakery business, his love of sports and his involvement in Ballyshannon Musical Society.
Mr McShea said: "I am honoured to have numbered Jack as a close friend over a long, long time. We had an awful lot in common - a love of sports in general, and of gaelic and golf in particular. Jack took to golf like a duck to whatever and was a very competitive player. We also shared a love of politics.
"And, of course, Jack was one of seven of us who played poker together every Saturday night for the best part of 20 years. It was one of the highlights of our week - Ernan Britton, PJ Ferguson, Jack, Michael McLoone, John Keon, Edward O'Donnell and I would play till all hours in each other's homes. It was always a very social game, filled with laughter and fun and we never had a cross word over all the years. The next day we'd all see each other again at whatever match we were going along to, and have a great laugh about the night before.
"One of Jack's outstanding features was his ability to bridge the age barrier. He was comfortable in everybody's company and they were very comfortable in his. Ever since he took ill two years ago, I never once heard him complain. He was an absolute brick, always thinking of other people. He showed great fortitude in very difficult times. Even when I went to see him in the hospice in recent weeks, the rapport that he had with the nurses was remarkable.
"Jack was also a beautiful singer, and many people will have fond memories of him performing his party piece, Living Doll. No matter where he went, he would sing it. I can still recall him doing so, his face radiant with joy, when Donegal won their first Ulster Final. On the many occasions on which Jack played a lead role in Ballyshannon Musical Society productions, his outgoing character was reflected in his performances on stage. He shared his infectious enthusiasm for music with the audience and was a great joker, which made him a hugely popular entertainer.
"Aodh Ruadh GAA was also a big part of Jack's life. He was Club Person of the Year in 1994, served as treasurer and was on the executive for many years.
"Jack's legacy, though is really the love and kindness that he brought to Noran and their four children Sinead, Norita, John and Patrick. He thought the world of Nora, she was so special to him, and he had a sort of understated pride in his four kids. The love and care that he received from them during his illness was also something quite remarkable.
"There is a saying, ‘True friends are the medicine of life'. That phrase would sit perfectly on Jack's shoulders. He was a true friend."
Well known businessman the late Jack Grimes, The Mall, Ballyshannon who passed away on Christmas Day and was laid to rest on Monday. 2812TG50