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Kathleen (Irwin) Gillanders

Mrs Kathleen Gillanders formerly Irwin
Born 1910s.
Ancestors ancestors Descendants descendants
Mother of , [private son (1940s - unknown)], and [private son (1940s - unknown)]
Died 2000s.
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Profile last modified | Created 15 Jun 2009
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Kathleen was born at 16 Farquhar Road, Wimbledon, London to Katie and John Irwin. She went to school firstly in Wimbledon and then, when her parents moved to Northern Ireland, to Second Limavady School until the formation of Limavady Academy in 1924 when she became one of its first pupils. In 1928 Kathleen attended Dollar Academy, living with her Grandmother and Aunt Margaret in Crook of Devon, and travelling to the school each day by train. She left school in 1931 and, at her Grandmother Irwin's request, became her companion. This involved, amongst other things, sleeping in a truckle bed in her Grandmother's room. In 1932 she took an Advanced Cookery Course in Barley Park, Limavady - something for which her sons have always been thankful. She married George Charles Gillanders in 1938 and moved to 9 Browning Drive, Londonderry. When he was mobilised at the outbreak of WWII in 1939 she returned with her first son, John Ross, who was born in May, to Limavady. Limavady never suffered any enemy action but the atmosphere of the area was completely changed as a result of the influence of allied troops. Kathleen "did her bit" becoming a Fire Warden for at least part of the war. In June 1945 her second son, Thomas George Ellis (Tom), was born followed by Donald Sinclair (Don) in February 1947 and Richard Edward Irwin (Dick) in October 1948.

She loved art and drawing, producing some impressive sketches in her teenage years, but never really seemed to find a purpose in life until she got married. She was a wonderful mother and was always there for her children and grandchildren - and anybody else who dropped by. She was a shy person, not comfortable in company she didn't know, and preferred to take a background role. However, she had a core of steel if she thought that she was being thwarted. For many years she was a "stand-in" church organist, sometimes for months at a time, but never saw herself as a permanent replacement. However, she did hold strong views about some of the other organists and, indeed, the menbers of the clergy.

She was one of nature's carers and looked after her Aunt Margaret (Auntie in Scotland) for the last few months of her life and then took in her mother when her father died. The death of her husband, George, hit her hard and she decided to sell 22, Northland Road in Londonderry and move to Limavady. Moving to Shanreagh Park with her mother she remained there until her mother's death in 1985. Whereupon she moved again to Annadale Park, just a few doors down from her son John and his family.

She always enjoyed her bridge sessions with her "ladies" and was still playing into her nineties. Latterly, she realised that she was becoming frail and moved to a retirement home where she died on 8th April 2006, aged 93.

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