Dorothy E. McGuinness
May 26, 1924 – May 14, 2018
Today we say goodbye to Dorothy McGuinness, known to everyone as Dot, who lived a life of curiosity and perseverance in the face of challenges and illness.
It is also the closing of a chapter in the life of this family. Dot was the last of the generation of children born to emigrants – Julia O’Leary of Co. Cork and Gilbert James of Bristol and with that a generation that stretched back to the 19th century. Dot always spoke fondly of her parents and was filled with stories about their ways and their own stories of their homeplaces, most especially of her mother’s rural Ireland.
Stricken with polio as a child, she showed huge personal strength and perseverance throughout her life. It is perhaps during that time that she developed her keen sense of humor that disarmed the barbs and disappointments of life. Dot was determined to be thankful for her life and to engage with the world. Dot decided that polio would not define or limit her and she found the capacity to enjoy life in sewing, reading and her pets, notably dog Mimi and a fish referred to as “the whale”.
It is impossible to talk about Dot without reference to her sister Edna. The two were deeply committed to one another during good and bad times. While their capacity to argue was well known, this was outdone by their capacity to love. The depth of that bond was clear in the photographs and cards Dot kept.
Dot will be buried with her beloved husband John whom she spoke so dearly about until the end and missed so much. Scotty, her partner in later life, was a regular feature at family events and brought much joy to Dot.
Dot cared deeply about her wider family and loved Judy and Jimmy who in later years cared for her, making sure she had the best possible care and support.
As the reading from Corinthians states, we have an eternal dwelling with God. Dot was devoted to her faith and to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, represented by the roses today.
Dot left a deep impression on all who met her and she will be missed by all who did.
Saint Thérèse’s Prayer
May today there be peace within. May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.
May the roads rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, May the rains fall soft upon fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
- Funeral Mass Monday, May 21, 2018
Dorothy E. McGuinness
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