A FERMANAGH woman who helped to set up a successful craft shop that has been run by three generations of the same family died on New Year’s Day.

Mary Jane Rees (née Munn) passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home at Ashwoods Road, Enniskillen on Monday, the day before she was due to celebrate her 84th birthday.

Mrs. Rees, formerly of Kookaburra Cottage, Monea, opened Fermanagh Cottage Industries, which is located in Enniskillen’s East Bridge Street, along with her husband, John Owen Rees, in the early 1960s.

She continued to work in the shop, which started out by selling linen and souvenirs, until she suffered a massive stroke in April 2015.

Her daughter, Karen Mitten, had taken over the running of the shop in the late 1990s.

It is now in the hands of Katie Kennedy, a daughter of Mrs. Mitten and granddaughter of Mrs. Rees.

Paying a warm tribute to her mother, Mrs. Mitten said this week: “Mary was a joyful person, inside and out, who always had time for everyone she met.

“She will be missed by many, near and far.”

Her funeral service was held in Devenish Parish Church, Monea yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, followed by interment in the adjoining churchyard.

Born in Belfast on January 2, 1934, Mary Jane Munn was one of eight children.

She arrived in Fermanagh when she was evacuated to the townland of Moybrone during the Second World War.

After marrying John Owen Rees in Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day, 1958, the couple made their home in Enniskillen.

Several years later, they opened up Fermanagh Cottage Industries, where they worked together until Mr. Rees died in 1998.

Away from the shop, Mrs. Rees had many interests, including bowling, boating, gardening, baking and reading.

In her final years, she particularly enjoyed watching sports such as snooker and darts on the TV.

She also spent many happy summers in Rossnowlagh with her grandchildren.

Mrs. Rees was pre-deceased by her husband, John, and grandson Daniel.

She is survived by daughter Karen, son-in-law Gary, grandchildren Katie, Jane and Charlie, and great-grandchildren Scarlett, Caitlyn and Natasha.