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A Famous Irish-American Died Last Week

September 4th, 2009

This following is a tribute to James Patrick Noonan, the father of Joe Noonan, who along with his wife Laura, founded               

              Wm Bill McNeice Sturgeon


Last week a famous Irish-American man died after living a long and fruitful life. Although his family, friends and acquaintances knew that death was inevitable because of his long battle with cancer   – now it had arrived.

As a young boy, he ran the streets of Dorchester and greater Boston. He joined the Army and served his nation proudly. Like many of the young men of his time, he went to college and got his degree.

For several days, the family and friends mourned and reminisced about all of the wonderful times that they had together. They remembered their trips together and the love their father had for his wife and that she had for him. The children fondly remembered their parents’ walks along the beach at sunset, hand in hand.

Now, it was Saturday and time for the Mass of Christian Burial. The family and friends assembled in the church that this Irish-American loved so much so that they could say farewell.  

While the rain poured-down outside there was a sense of peace in the church. The children of  this bigger than life man, their father, were now becoming somber and introspective. Reality was settling in. They were accepting the thoughts of never again hearing his voice, laughing at his humor, seeing the twinkle in his eye, or kissing his cheek. The grandchildren, some so young as to not understand what was happening, were talking and laughing just as their grandfather would have wanted them to do.

This was a celebration of a great man’s life. It was a life of giving to his wife, family, church, country, and community. Oh, by the way he believed that his community was the entire world – for he loved to travel.

The Mass ended with the priest’s asking all in attendance to bow their heads for his blessing and proceeded on with, “May the Lord Bless and Keep You James Patrick Noonan and May the Angels Lead You Into Paradise - In the Name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

You see, dear people, to this wonderful Irish-American family and to their many friends, James Patrick Noonan was as important and powerful a figure as the other Irish-American man who died last week.

As inevitable as the sun coming up in the morn and setting in the evening, our time to pass will also come. One day a church will fill with our family and friends and we can only hope that our lives will have been as distinguished as these two sons of Eire.


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