John Paul Clarke
Tom loved to talk and if you met Tom on his travels, you would better not be in a hurry anywhere. He would tell his life story to anyone and everyone, he loved his mother and was a real mammy’s boy.
He did everything for her, he gave all his wages to his mother every week and if he wanted to bring his future wife Pauline on a date he would ask for a few bob!
Tom loved his family, he was happiest when cooking for everyone on Sundays, didn’t matter how many were there. In his later life, Tom liked nothing more than to look after Pauline, going to omni for shopping, picking up whatever was needed.
His best meal by far was his famous home cooked chips which were cooked in animal fat. They were famous throughout the family and would peel a few spuds at the drop of a hat.
He had an incredibly unhealthy diet of rashers, chips, chocolate and lucozade but we had him until his 90th year and for that we are unbelievably lucky.
I was born in the Liberties in the heart of Dublin City on the 7th May 1930. Christened Thomas Arthur O’Connor, I was the first born of seven children that Josephine & Leo brought into the world; sister Joan and brothers Arthur, Leo, Jim, John & Davey came along after me. We lived in the Iveagh Trust Buildings in New Bride St, before later moving to Rutland Avenue. In my teenage years, I was known as ‘King of the Kids’, a title bestowed on me as I was forever organising football matches and games for the younger children in the area.
I was lucky enough to win one year’s free tuition in Kevin’s St Tech doing an electrical apprenticeship but when my father passed away, I had to take on the role of man of the house and get a job instead.
My first job was as a messenger boy, before I secured a position with Joe Maloney which would alter the shape of my future. It was from there that I started my career as a dental technician, and also met the love of my life in 1948. Pauline worked as a dental receptionist, and the first time I saw her, I was smitten. It was a long courtship, but in 1958, we finally tied the knot – I was the happiest man alive. Over the course of the next few years, we were blessed with five beautiful daughters.
I set up my own business: Dorset Dental Laboratory and worked hard to provide for my growing family. Times were not always easy, but we were happy. We had a roof over our head in Lorcan Drive in Santry, food on the table and we laughed and cried together – that was enough for me. The years go by so fast – the children grew up, followed their own paths, and one by one they left home.
I looked forward to Sundays when the whole family would gather for dinner at Lorcan Drive -it was my favourite time of the week. The house was filled with fun & life as our family grew – grandchildren came along, there were fondly remembered day trips to Bray on the train. And my homemade chips were a big hit with the grandchildren, morning, noon or night!
I loved my job, meeting new people every day, making them laugh, hearing their stories. I didn’t want to retire. So guess what? I didn’t! I worked in Dorset St until I was 75, and then continued working from home for another 10 years – some things in life are very hard to let go. I did my best to care for Pauline but time catches up with us all -when Pauline had to go into a nursing home, I was heartbroken.
I visited her every day until Covid came along, and we all had to self-isolate. That was so hard for me, to be cut off from those I cared about most in the world. Finally, Covid caught up with me. After a short illness, I left this world on the 1st March 2020.
I was 90 years old. I had a long, rewarding life, and was blessed with good health right up until the end.
I hope I am remembered as a man who cherished his wife and family, who did his best to make them happy above all else. That’s all I ever wanted, all I ever needed. I loved life, and was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who loved and cared for me.
Nothing is more important in life than that.
Your Paw prints are forever on our hearts
Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts and reminders of unconditional love that lasts forever.
When tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart, for every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.