Hughie Kelly (59) was a man who liked to use his talent to get things done.
We especially loved doing things for his beloved nieces and granddaughter.
One of the pieces Mr Kelly made, a jewelery box for one of his nieces, was among the items brought to the altar to symbolize his life during the requiem mass at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough yesterday.
In addition to the jewelry box, he also made a cradle and several fairy doors that now sit in his sister’s garden.
In addition to wood crafts, Mr. Kelly also enjoyed making blackberry jam, a jar of which was also brought to the altar.
Father John Joe Duffy said the dedication Mr Kelly showed in making jam was similar to the dedication he showed to his family and loved ones.
He could always be called upon to help, Father Duffy said, but he was somewhat of a perfectionist.
“No one could do it like Hughie. Others would do it and say it was grand, but he would keep going until it was perfect,” Father Duffy said.
Mr Kelly was the youngest of five children and grew up in the beautiful area of Doe, not far from Creeslough.
The area is home to the famous Doe Castle which was a natural playground for Mr Kelly and his siblings and friends when they were growing up.
His family describe him as a “bit of a daredevil” when he was younger, and he once cycled along the castle wall.
He worked in London for a while and once sent home a picture of himself holding a parrot to show his family the exotic life he led.
However, the lure of home was too strong and he returned to Donegal where he made his living with his partner Linda.
Two photos of Mr Kelly brought to the altar yesterday also highlighted things important to him.
One was of him with his beloved granddaughter Rosey, while the other was of him in a cornfield enjoying the beauty of where he lived.
Mr Kelly was remembered as a ‘happy man with a cheeky smile’ who was always helpful to others. His last act is proof of that.
He had taken Robert Garwe and his daughter Shauna to the Applegreen store in Creeslough so Shauna could buy a birthday cake for her mother.
Tragically, all three were killed in the explosion that destroyed the store shortly after 3 p.m. on October 7.
Shauna (5) was the youngest person to die in the blast and Mr Kelly was the oldest.