Grace loved her music

The late Grace Holywood. INLM1212-809con
The late Grace Holywood. INLM1212-809con

GRACE Evelyn Hollywood passed away on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at Rosemount Care Home, Portadown.

Grace Evelyn Weir was born on April 3, 1922, the youngest child of John and Anna Weir and shared the family home at “The Far Place” farm at Drumlee with her sister Elizabeth and her brother Thomas.

Grace and her brother Tommy shared a love of music and together they sang in Castlewellan church choir and also at special concerts to entertain the locally based troops during the war.

After school Grace went to technical college and obtained practical skills in book-keeping and administration which stood her well later in life. After working in hair salons in Banbridge, the exclusive Raymond’s in Belfast and then in Whitehead she ran her own hairdressing business in Lurgan.

Grace often lived near her work during the week but returned to the family farm at the weekends. It was on a weekend visit home, when the Weir family were living at Gargory, that Grace met future husband Alex Hollywood. From then on the striking young couple would meet up for walks on the promenade at Newcastle and their romance blossomed into love. In time they were engaged and then married in September 1951 in Fisherwick Place Presbyterian Church with Eva Dixon as bridesmaid and Jim Geddes as bestman. Their first home was in Carnegie Street in Lurgan where Grace opened her hair salon next door to Alex and his father’s painting and decorating business. The couple shared many things including a good sense of humour and Alex painted a special slogan on the gable wall of Grace’s hairdressers which read “We need your head to run our business”.

It was a sadness for Grace and Alex that they never had any children of their own but they thoroughly enjoyed spending time with their nephews and nieces and their many friends. They also enjoyed travelling.

Grace’s favourite pastime was singing and playing the piano and her love of music included everything from Irish Airs to old Alexander hymns.

After some time at Carnegie Street, Grace and Alex moved to a new home at Banbridge Road and it was later that Alex adapted the garage into a salon, a popular place for Grace’s regular customers, whom she often went to collect and she ferried them home again after their appointment. In fact when Alex and Grace moved to their new bungalow in Waringstown she continued to run her business at Banbridge Road.

This was a great focus for Grace when sadly Alex died in 1996.

In recent years Grace’s health began to deteriorate and the time came to move into a nursing home where she was always visited by family and friends. Latterly she resided at Rosemount Care Home, Portadown and Grace’s family were very appreciative of the support and outstanding care she received there especially in her last few weeks.

For the thread that was constant throughout her life was her faith, and the one she prayed to once said that He came so that we might have life, and life in all its fullness, and this is what Grace would want for those she leaves behind.

Grace was laid to rest in Waringstown Presbyterian Church burial ground on Monday, January 2, 2012 with the Rev Philip Thompson officiating in the church and at the graveside. A family wreath was placed on the grave and donations in lieu of flowers if desired may be sent to Malcolmson’s Funeral Services, Lurgan for the Alzheimer’s Society.