Always had time for others

Mary Louisa (Maimie) Serplus. INLM2512-900con
Mary Louisa (Maimie) Serplus. INLM2512-900con

MAIMIE Serplus was a warm, kind and generous woman who always made time for others.

Born Mary Louisa Abraham on September 26, 1943, Maimie was the eldest child of seven to William and Ethel Abraham.

In her in her childhood she lived at Derrytrasna, where she attended Esky Primary School and later Lurgan Junior High School.

She left school at the age of 15, going to work at Elliot and Stevenson in Portadown and then to Robinson’s Fashions in Lurgan. In 1961 the Abraham family moved to Brookehill and Maimie began attending evening cookery and sewing classes in Lurgan Tech. It was there she met the love of her life Bobby Serplus.

Bobby and Maimie were married in Shankill Parish on a wet and windy Saturday, September 4, 1965, with a reception in the Masonic Hall. After a honeymoon on the Isle of Man the couple set up home at Pollock Drive and it was there they had their three children Joycelyn, Clive and Alan.

As her family grew Maimie left work to stay at home with her children.

With the family in their teens Maimie threw herself into Home Help work with the elderly, her great heart showing as she often went well above the call of duty doing extras like the shopping and other essential chores.

From Home Help Maimie went to work at Ceara School as a classroom assistant and helping on the school buses. She then moved on to Bannvale Social Education Centre in Gilford, working with the mentally and physically handicapped. Indeed it broke her heart when she had to leave due to ill health.

However, Maimie’s wonderful nature could not be stopped as she moved from paid to voluntary employment for different charities with her friend Valerie Robinson. She made novelty items from facecloths, pegs and dusters, indeed from two towels she could craft a bunny rabbit. She would take these items around craft sales making money for Guide Dogs for the Blind - a charity close to her heart because of her friend Alma in Bangor. Maimie worked and gave money to the Down’s Syndrome Society in Enniskillen and to Belvoir Park Cancer Hospital in Belfast.

In 2007 Maimie’s selfless work was recognised as she was given a Mayor’s Award for her contribution to charity work. It wasn’t something Maimie would have sought but the recognition was fully deserved.

Bobby and Maimie moved to Waringstown in 1996 and she loved spending her time in the garden tending her strawberries, peas, herbs and flowers for the hanging baskets around the house.

Maimie loved competitions, her name and those of the rest of her family a familiar one in the ‘MAIL’ postbag (and no doubt other publications).

She also made time for the Mother’s Union in Donaghcloney and the WI in Waringstown. Maimie was also an active member of the Gateway Club in Lurgan.

She loved to travel with Bobby and they would often visit Turkey and Spain with their friends David and Eleanor.

Maimie was never one to rest on her laurels and even took up a computer course, becoming a silver surfer with a heart of gold.

However, Maimie’s story would not be even close to complete without mention of her five grandchildren Katie, Daniel, Matthew, James and Emma, who she always made time for and spoiled them all shamelessly.

Even in her illness, Maimie was always thinking of others - even to the point of planning her own funeral.

The family have passed on their thanks to all who have supported them through the difficult times leading to Maimie’s passing and after.

They particularly thanked Dr McGoldrick, the nursing staff at Craigavon Hospital, the doctors and nurses at the Southern Area Hospice, Newry and Rev Bryan Martin Donaghcloney Parish for his sympathy and support.