'the Millennium' tree planted by John in the year 2000.

John Markham (1913 - 2007)

Remembering a Life Well Lived
Some people just can't help making a difference in our lives. By simply being who they are, they make the world a little brighter, a little warmer, a little gentler, and when they're gone we realise how lucky we are to have known them. The world has lost a very special person in Jack.

Death of John(Jack) Markham of Derryguiha


John, better known as Jack took ill on Tuesday afternoon August 28th at lunch time and breathed his last at around 4.45pm surrounded by his family. He had a happy death; one of the Lord’s most precious graces. He was the last of a generation and the youngest of eight. John had his good health right up to that day and enjoyed his glass of whiskey, smoke and read of the daily newspaper on Monday evening August 27th. We are indeed very thankful to God and Our Lady for being so good to dad throughout his 94 years of life. (During recent months Dad reminded us that he was in his 95th year of life). Certainly his attitude and approach to life contributed to his many, many years on earth. He was born on April 13th 1913. One can imagine rural Ireland in that era, just one year before World War 1. Then we had very turbulent times when he was growing up with the War of Independence, the Economic War, and World War 11 etc! Despite all this he worked hard and often reminded us of the 21 lorry loads of turf that he and his brother Michael cut in 23 consecutive days. Getting up early and walking to fairs was no problem to Dad; he walked a horse all the way from Ennis as late as the year 1970.  John also found time for sport and took part in athletics, fowling, fishing, football and drama. He was a former chairman of Coolmeen GAA Club. Jack was a keen supporter of St. Mary's Athletic Club since its foundation in 1955. He was a founder member of the Clonderlaw Drama Society. Playing cards and having a few pints was a regular for father, he often described a game of cards to perfection, yes, and his memory was so authentic he could remember who sat on the seats at school and even the questions asked by the bishop for confirmation.  He is recorded in the Clare Champion of February 2nd 1935 running a 9 mile race in Kilkishen in a time of 53mins 24seconds. Going on the wren and going to wren dances was also a part of rural life for dad. John enjoyed hard work and during tough times reared a large family. He took to the construction industry, rural electrification and so on to supplement the income. Despite all of this he also completed his farm duties in tillage, hay making, milking of cows etc! He was one of the first in the neighbourhood to own a motor car and tractor. At this point we must thank God for saving Dad’s life in the autumn of 1972 when he was in a farm accident involving the tractor, as a result he was left unconscious almost all day and made a good recovery a few months later. Along with God’s mercy and Dad’s athletic and strong build he did not die on that occasion but was granted a further 35 years of life.  John got on great with nature and took pride in the farm animals and pets especially our dog dottie. The evening before Dad’s death he went out to see the hen and chickens roam the yard. He loved to see me harness the horse and trap and he often went for a trip to the countryside. I suppose sport played a major role in his life but he didn’t ever miss out on the Sunday games on television. He was constantly keeping an eye on his family and their participation in athletics, football and boxing and in recent years on his grandchildren and their success. John had a great retirement and was the recipient of his pension for 29 years. During the 29 years he made trips to Dublin, Lisdoonvarna, Limerick and Ennis. On the latter he looked forward to his Saturday trip to Ennis by bus from Susie’s Cross. In Ennis he made great friends, he was that sort of person one had to make conversation with him, he loved meeting and talking to people. Life has been good to Dad and Mam they’ve had big celebrations throughout the decades, for example, 25th, 40th 50th and 60th Wedding Anniversary, his birthday parties from 80th to 94th, weddings, holy communions, confirmations etc of the family and 28 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Even though Dad wasn’t a great singer he loved to participate at functions, he could be heard to give the main lines of ‘I’ll take you home again Kathleen;’ ‘The Rose of Tralee’and ‘Put more turf on the fire Mary Anne’. He also gave lengthy recitations.  Thanks to all who made life so easy for Dad not forgetting his good neighbours and friends and the ladies who have been caring for Dad and Mam in recent years, he really looked forward to their company, conversation and help. Everywhere I look reminds me of Dad, the vacant chair, the idle pipe and tobacco, the paths through the garden, his old Raleigh bicycle he used for going to Morrisseys’ Jacko’s and to meet the bus at the cross,  the books and booklets on his table, the shovel and scythe in the barn shed etc!.  We must have faith and know and trust in the Lord that this life on earth is only temporary and that the real life begins in heaven. Thanks to all who have helped and are continuing to help with our bereavement, the support and consoling words form our friends since Dad’s death is tremendous.

The concelebrated Mass on Thursday at St.Benedict’s Coolmeen will remain in our memory forever, it was a Mass so enriched with prayer, tribute, music and song. At the grave in Kilmurry McMahon, God gave us a clear indication that Dad had entered heaven – as the remains were left on the grave, a sprinkle of rain came from the sky assisted by a gush of breeze and immediately the sun shone bright. This was witnessed by all and we are all satisfied that God has taken Dad to ‘His Kingdom’. Our departed ones continue to live among us not only because….their memory is part of our lives, but especially because their souls intercede for us with God. (John Paul 11)

The soul departed in the Lord does not die, it returns to God, who is the Giver of Life….Amen.  Death is nothing at all. ‘Call me by my old familiar name ‘Jack’…laugh as we always laughed… means all that it ever meant…it is the same as it ever was; there is no unbroken continuity, …why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

 Christina, Noel. Ollie, Donal, Flan, Claire, Gerry, Paul (& Mrs. Mary Markham)

John Markham

Thanks from the Markham family.


John (1913 – 2007)

Derryguiha, Kilmurry McMahon


John’s wife Mary, sons Noel, Ollie, Donal, Flan, Gerry and Paul, daughters Christina and Claire, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives and friends wish to express their sincere appreciation to all who sympathised with us on our recent bereavement. We are grateful to all who called to the family home, telephoned, text messages, e-mailed, attended the removal, funeral Mass and burial. Our gratitude extends to everyone who travelled long distances to be with us. Thanks to the many who gave Mass cards, perpetual enrolments, letters of sympathy etc! We would like to thank our excellent neighbours and friends who helped through the years and especially on Tuesday August 28th – the day of Dad’s death. Thanks to Dr. Ml. Harty and the Clare Care ladies who have been great help and friends of John through recent years. Sincere thanks to Dr. Joe Hogan who attended Dad on his sudden and final illness, thanks to the ambulance staff, doctors and nurses of A&E and ICU at Ennis General Hospital, to Fr. John Molloy who administered the Sacrament of the Sick to John.  Sincere thanks to   Fr. John O’Keeffe, Fr. John Kelly, Fr. Joe Haugh, Fr. Ml McNamara and Fr. Patrick Conway who concelebrated the funeral Mass, to the choir, organist, singers, traditional musicians and Mass servers not forgetting Br. Seán McNamara for his tribute to John and to those who presented gifts symbolic of Dad’s life. Our thoughts and wishes go to Fr. Kevin Carey of Stafford, Brisbane, Australia who had prayers offered simultaneously with Dad’s funeral Mass. We are deeply indebted to those who organised traffic at St. Benedict’s on both days of the funeral, Coolmeen G.A.A. Club for the guard of honour, Clare County Boxing Board, Athletic Clubs of Clare, Kerry Agribusiness Clare and the Clare Champion Ennis. Extended thanks to our friends, neighbours and EFG Inflight Catering Shannon, who provided refreshments at the house, also to Margaret Haugh and her team for catering at Tir na nÓg, Cranny. A special thanks to Undertakers Frances and Paddy Duggan of Kilmihil for their professional and dignified handling of the funeral arrangements and thanks to the neighbours who prepared Dad’s final resting place at Kilmurry McMahon. Renewed thanks again to all who have been so helpful with our bereavement, a Mass has been celebrated as a token of our appreciation to you. The Month’s Mind for John will be celebrated at St. Benedict’s Church, Coolmeen on Sunday 7th of October at 10am.

‘I am at home in Heaven, dear ones oh, so happy and so bright, there is perfect joy and beauty in this everlasting light’. Our Lady of Medugorje, Queen of Peace – Pray for us.

Memorial Card

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