In Memory of my Mother - Frances Easter Willis
12th April 1925 - 30th September 2008
Under Construction & Incomplete
My Mother was born Frances Easter Hanbidge in Feddan, Kiltegan, County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland on the 12th April 1925. Her middle name "Easter" comes from the fact that she was born on Easter Sunday.
She was one of six brothers and two sisters, listed in order below:
Henry (Harry) Hanbidge (b 1914, d 1975 - Australia)
John Hanbidge (b 1915, d 1986 - Australia)
Elizabeth (Lily) Hanbidge (b 1918, d 2009 - London)
Edward (Eddie) Hanbidge (b 1920, d 1985 - South Africa)
Ernest (Ernie) Hanbidge (b 1923, d???? - Tralee, Co. Kerry)
Frances Hanbidge (b 1925, d 2008 - Belfast)
Joseph (Joe) Hanbidge (b 1927, d 2005 - Feddan Co Wicklow)
William (Willie) Hanbidge (b 1929, - South Africa)
As a child, she attended Kiltegan school and later transferred to another school at Hackettstown - she used to describe riding to and from school on her old bicycle.
After finishing school, she went to work in a shop at Helens Bay in Northern Ireland where she first met my Father.
She had to return to Co. Wicklow in the Irish Republic as her work permit had expired. My Father followed her there and they were married on the 17th August 1949 in Belfast Northern Ireland. Until retirement she worked with my Father in their Fireplace business at 151 Agnes Street, Belfast where she did the books and accounts.
In 1957 their first child (a baby girl - unnamed) was stillborn
In 1960 their second child (me - Joe Willis) was born.
After retiring, she moved with my Father to Carrickfergus Co. Antrim
She was a very family orientated person and could always be relied on to remember birthdays, anniversaries etc - and kept in close touch with her brothers and sister's families. She and my Father regularly visited her old childhood home, Feddan and her brothers family always made us welcome.
Refusing to fly, she nonetheless visited me in England with my Father by ferry and coach until she found the journey too onerous. She and my father visited Paris with us by Eurostar, a long held dream, staying near the Eiffel tower, going on a candle lit river dining tour and going to Montmartre and the top of the Eiffel Tower.
She remained in the house that she had shared with my Father in Carrickfergus after his death and died peacefully in her sleep there in 2008.