Eileen was a key part of life in town

Eileen McCluskey,
Eileen McCluskey,

Portadown Inner Wheel Club has paid tribute to a women who served two periods as President of the organisation.

Mrs Eileen McCluskey, who has died after a short illness, was Inner Wheel President in 1964-65 and again in 1983-84 and current President Mrs Philomena Hagan said,”The members have heard of Mrs McCluskey’s death with great sadness.

“She was a very popular member of the club for many years and continued to take a great interest in everything we did.

“Only recently we celebrated our 70th anniversary and she was delighted to be invited to our celebration.

“She was unable to be present but telephoned and wrote to apologise and wished us every success.”

Mrs McCluskey had been living at the Faith House nursing home at Finaghy for just over a year and the family are grateful for the care and attention she received there.

She had been in excellent health until very recently and was delighted to have had her extended family round her for her 94th birthday in September.

Mrs McCluskey was a much-loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother and family members travelled from America, England and Wales to join in the birthday celebrations.

Her husband, Kenneth, died some years ago and she is survived by two sons, Ian, in Northville, Detroit, David, in Banbridge, seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Another son, Noel, died suddenly some 21 years ago, a burden Mrs McCluskey bore with great fortitude because of her strong Christian faith.

That faith was exemplified in her work for the Baptist Church in Portadown where she and her husband played a leading role in the building of the new church there.

She was also heavily involved in youth work there and was a founding member of the Campaigners Group.

Mrs McCluskey is remembered with much affection in many aspects of life in Portadown - she was a member of Levaghery Women’s Institute for many years,

enjoyed golf at Portadown and Portstewart, where the family had a holiday home, but also busied herself in the economic life of the town, encouraging her husband in his many business interests, and opening a home bakery, the Cookery Nook, in Woodhouse Street and later moving to High Street.

Her homes at Gilford Road, Ballyhannon and then the Avenue, were always welcoming.

The teapot never cooled and the cupboards were always full of home-made cakes - until the grandchildren and great grandchildren arrived!

The children joined in the tributes at the private family service on Sunday and grandson Camin said, “Nana was very quick-witted and mentally sharp right up until the end.

“She loved a good joke or a witty rhyme.

“Above all she had a huge heart and was generous to a fault. We will all miss her greatly.”

Daughter-in-law Mrs Christine McCluskey read a scripture passage and the organist was Mrs Gladys Nugent who shared youth work with Mrs McCluskey at the Baptist church and who remained a close family friend.

In addition to her immediate family Mrs McCluskey is also survived by her younger brother, Samuel Graham.