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Queen of Hearts

De Facto

TOGETHER AGAIN Kay and Martin Curry, pictured at Westport Lions Club Clew Bay People of the Year Awards in 2017.

De Facto

Liamy MacNally

“The Queen of the Yellow Tops has gone to join her King of the Covies. They are together again.” That’s what the phone call said. Kay Curry had gone to her eternal reward, to join her husband Martin.
Kay Curry was royalty, in every way. She had a regal presence and lit up a room. Her smiling face greeted everyone, exuding a welcome from the heart. Yes, she was the Queen of the Yellow Tops, her famous buns that were a cornerstone for Curry’s Cottage Home Bakery and Tea Room in Westport, but she was also a Queen of Hearts.
She loved and was loved, as if her essence was to love everyone she met. She revelled in people’s company, welcoming all with a hug and kiss. Queen of Hugs!    
Born in Birr, Co Offaly, Kay married the King of the Covies, and became Queen of the Covies. She was one of the most popular people ever to grace our town. For that we are all so grateful.
She brought with her great gifts, her beauty, her grace, her charm and her selflessness. She was selfless to the core, always looking out for the other person. Kay shortened the road for others with her sense of humour, faith and wisdom.
She lifted people out of the depths when they were weighed down. She encouraged people to see the light, reflecting the lovely words of Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Kay brought that light of life to everyone, always without a sense of drama.
Kay could see beyond the ever-present difficulties and lead people to a level of acceptance and peace. Her company was sought by so many who knew they would walk away enriched with a lighter step, clearer vision and happy heart.
She worked hard. A family-run home bakery is not an easy business. Everything had to be fought for. Care was extended to family, staff and customers.
Curry’s Cottage Home Bakery and Tea Room on James’ Street was her life. She built up the business over the years ensuring that generations of experience would be passed on – five generations of home baking is no mean feat.
She loved her staff, from the wonderful Mollie Brown through to the welcoming Elaine and Sarah, and all who graced the premises over the years. It was as if all staff members were somehow imbued with the aura of Kay.
Kay was also Queen of the Taps. She loved music and dance, from tap to set dancing. Even ‘The Chicken Dance’ was her party piece! She was so light on her feet, ‘a gazelle on the dance floor’. How moving that her colleagues in the dance group Westel performed a dance tribute as the funeral cortege stopped one final time outside her home.
‘She was an angel on the floor,” said one woman, “who gifted us all with her song and dance. She was so generous with her time and patience to teach new steps to anybody.”
To say Kay was a Westport Utd fan is an understatement. She loved nothing more than attending matches with her family to watch her son-in-law Joe Lawless, who was ‘always brilliant’, win, lose or draw. All Westport Utd players, staff and supporters had a special place in Kay’s heart.
Westport Utd, St Patrick’s Drama Group, Westel dancers, neighbours and friends formed guards of honour and lined the Westport streets in a final tribute to a great woman.
Music echoed across to Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay as Kay was lowered alongside her beloved Máirt in Aughavale Cemetery. Kay was Cáit to Martin and he was Máirt to her. The King and Queen are together again. Beannacht Dé oraibh.  
Kay will be greatly missed by all whose hearts she touched. The loss will be most felt by her family, son, David, and daughters, Karina, Sharon, Clodagh, Orla and Martine; grandchildren, Cúlann, Aoibhe, Caoilte, Síofra, Laragh, Ciana, Mason, Finn, Jade and Shay; sons-in-law, Kevin and Joe; sisters, Margaret and Lee, and brother Aidan; sister-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many friends.
Kay Curry, Queen of Hearts, may her gentle soul rest in peace.