Sunday, December 04, 2005

Victor James Delahunty.

My father died two years ago today. I wrote this for his funeral.

Victor was born in Clonmel in rural Tipperary on January 15th 1925. Tragically his mother died in childbirth. He was informally adopted by his neighbours and remained especially close to Nancy and Nelly throughout his lifetime.

Victor served in the Irish and British Armies, and as part of the UN forces in Korea. As a soldier he lived for a while in West Germany and after joining the merchant navy, literally travelled the world.

Back in England, Dad worked as a chef in many top hotels, often working two jobs at once. While we sometimes saw little of him, we never went hungry!

Victor had three daughters, Vicky, Sharon and Faith, after his first marriage ended in divorce, he fathered Liam and Lynda more than a decade later.

Dad had a smile that lit up his face, and a twinkle in his blue eyes. He sang often, with a soft, tuneful, lilting Irish tenor, and he had a gentle, kind manner.

He enjoyed a little light gambling - betting pennies on the "Gee Gees" and visiting the dogs. He loved listening to music and enjoyed sport, particularly watching Football. He followed Fulham to every tie of the 1975 FA Cup – the longest route in cup history – but missed the final!

I recall many days spent in the kitchen or at the back room table; he occasionally popping over to the bookies; Saturday evenings had the ritual of jotting down the pools results with Lynda and I sing-songing the scores.

Victor returned to Ireland for a few years after retiring before his failing health brought him back to England.

He lived a full, eventful life and fathered five children, who are already raising his grand-children, and great-grand-children.

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