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COVID-19 Update from Father Hudsons Care

Remembering J

Horse and carriage

Staff and residents of St Catherine’s Bungalows and Day Service have paid tribute to a resident and friend, who passed away on 17 May.

J had lived at St Catherine’s for just over 32 years, having originally moved here with his twin brother, P, who passed away several years ago. Their dad also spent his final years as a resident at St Joseph’s Care Home.

J’s funeral was held in Oxford, attended by his friends from Coleshill. Fr Kevin Cavanagh also held a special prayer service in the Catholic Church of Saint Teresa and the Sacred Heart in Coleshill, so everybody from the Bungalows could attend.

All sixteen residents attended the service, as well as staff, J’s cousin and others that knew him.

During the service, members of staff from the Bungalows shared poems and readings and spoke about their own memories of J. The organist played I do like to be beside the seaside, one of J’s favourite songs.

/media/news/library/prayer-service.jpgKaren McPherson, Manager of St Catherine’s Day Service, also wrote a beautiful eulogy for J’s funeral. We would like to share some of her words with you:

J and P came to us in January 1989 at the tender age of 38 years old, after living their lives with their loving parents. When their parents came to visit, they would tell us stories of their family life and how they didn’t know they were having twins until they both made an appearance. They would tell us tales of holidays in Ireland along with many other stories.

J and P settled into their new lives in St Michael’s, where they were adored by everyone. They both shared a brotherly love for each other and would check up on each other. P was the boss though and if J decided he wanted some peace and quiet away from P, P would go and find him.

Both also enjoyed going to Mass on a Sunday at the church on site. Mass wasn’t finished though until they both got up and blew the candles out on the altar; a job they both did whilst living at home in Oxford.

They enjoyed music and everyone was educated on Irish and country music. J would also sing along with us to Ave Maria or ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’. When J was at Day Services, he would change the radio stations to Classic FM.

In 1995, P sadly passed away. J was a little lost at first. He soon got on with his everyday life, but everyone knew when P’s anniversary was, as J acted differently. This also happened after his mom and then sadly his dad passed away, it was like his inner body clock knew the dates.

In 2002 J, along with everyone who had been living in the old building, moved to the new bungalows. He met new staff who he accepted and became lifelong friends with. J moved into Bungalow One but was a frequent visitor to the other bungalows, looking for a biscuit, a CD or two, or knocking on the office window for a letter.

J enjoyed lots of different activities. He enjoyed attending Day Service and would always ask for his coat to let everyone know he was ready to go. He loved Christmas and holidays.

Blackpool played a big part in J’s life. He enjoyed lots of holidays and day trips there enjoying all it had to offer - the tower, trams, horse and carriages, the carousel, seeing the illuminations and, of course, enjoying fish and chips by the sea.

J enjoyed parties and birthdays too and we celebrated every birthday over the years with a party with all his friends that he lived with. But his special milestone birthdays have had the biggest parties.

Last year was his 70th, such a milestone for him. I am sure that Coleshill thought that royalty was in town between his amazing socially distanced party to his horse and carriage rides around Colehill. To those that knew J, he was royalty.

All of us will look back fondly on the time we knew J; he was a gentleman with determination and a love for life. J didn’t need lots of money or expensive items, he enjoyed the simple pleasures life has to offer… a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The cello tape you needed to stick a memo up, the DVD that was your favourite, the letter that had the details of the place you needed to get to, and your bag!!

J was a big character in the lives of every resident at St Catherine’s and every staff member. He has left a void that will never be filled by anyone else. J will live on in us all. When we hear the words, tea, pub, coat, horse and Blackpool it will make us think fondly of a man that touched the hearts of so many.

J, we thank you for allowing us to know you. We will remember you and smile with love and affection at the lessons you taught all of us and the memories you allowed us to make with you.

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