Funeral Service

Time: 10am

Date: Friday 2nd November 2018

Service Details:
Requiem mass will be celebrated at Holy Souls RC Church, Whalley New Road, Blackburn, BB1 9BE followed by interment in Pleasington Cemetery.

Mary Harkin

Devout Catholic

Mary Harkin 1923-2018.

Mary was born on the 2nd August 1923 to James and Mary Ethelreda at New Park Street, Blackburn. Her mother was one of seven sisters, the daughters of Thomas and Elizabeth Kelly. Mary attended Notre Dame Convent in Blackburn and then went on to train as a teacher. She had very warm recollections of that time, just after the war and being sent to Birmingham. She arrived there with a coach load of other young women, who were housed in a dormitory before they were given posts in the area and directed to houses of families with whom they would reside. Mary said her first bedroom was in the bathroom of a house as that was all the family could offer and she had to leave the room every time it was required!

Her career progressed with a return to Blackburn and she finally retired as Deputy Headmistress of St Anthony’s primary school on Shadsworth Road.

Her family were very important to her and she kept albums of all her past and present relatives including her grandparents from the early 1800’s. Her father wrote a diary of his time in the great war and this, along with his medals, are held at Blackburn Museum at her bequest and she was very proud of his eloquence and bravery.

Mary travelled widely including trips to the Holy Land and most parts of Europe with her dear best friend Mildred, and she recorded all her expeditions in detail, both written and with photographs.

The church was a large part of her life and she once commented that she would have been a nun if not drafted into teaching. Her pictures include many with members of the clergy and the parishes she visited.

She never married and it has been said that was her secret to a long and successful life! She was a very charitable lady, supported Cancer research for many years and has bequeathed a large amount of her savings to aid others following her passing.  

Donations may be made in memory of Mary to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.