The daughter of the late Deirdre Burns has described her mother as someone who “loved life” and always had a smile on her face.

Deirdre (66) died peacefully surrounded by her loving family on May 1.

Daughter to Myles and Mary, she grew up alongside her brothers Jerry, Colin and Roderick and sister, Mary.

Deirdre (inset right) trained as a nurse, working at the County Hospital before leaving to raise her young family. She then returned to work at Nature’s Choice in East Bridge Street, where she was a loved and popular member of the staff in the 25 years she worked there.

She met her husband, Gerard Pius Burns, at an Electricity board Dinner Dance when she was 18 years old. They went on to get married on February 17, 1979.

They had a long and happy marriage and were devoted to each other and their children, Corinna, Simon, Joey and Libby, and their grandchildren, Joel, Giuliana, Myles, Zach and Darcie.

Impartial Reporter: The late Deirdre Burns.The late Deirdre Burns.

Her daughter, Corinna paid tribute to her late mother, who was a woman of great faith as well as having a love for life.

“Mum’s faith in God shone through her daily life and brought her great comfort and strength. She loved life; she always had a smile, and a great sense of humour,” said Corinna.

Deirdre touched many people’s lives, with Corinna saying the love shown for her mother and to the family in recent times has been comforting for them all.

“Mum touched many lives, and the outpouring of love and support shown to us, her family, over the last weeks and months has brought us great comfort.

“She will be greatly missed by the wider family circle and friends.”

Nature’s Choice owner, Nuala Lilley, posted an emotional tribute to Deirdre on the store’s Facebook page.

“Deirdre worked in Nature’s Choice for 25 years. Coming from a nursing background, she quickly accrued a wealth of knowledge on all things ‘natural’ and applied her medical knowledge to her new learning.

“She was always a very safe pair of hands when listening and advising at our counter.

“Deirdre was a natural manager; she’d laugh to hear me call her a natural ‘boss’.

“She excelled at the ordinary everyday practicalities that make for good business. She understood retail intuitively in a way that not everyone does.

“There is no doubt Deirdre was instrumental in building the success of Nature’s Choice. Her belief in our work and her loyalty and commitment to this business were unwavering.

“More importantly, Dee was a great friend to me. She was easy to confide in and to talk to, and her advice came from a great place of wisdom.

“She had an instinct for the right answer. Dee was fun, she had a great sense of humour, and that wonderful smile that was her. She was always interested in people in a very real way. My daughters both loved working alongside her.

“Deirdre will always be part of the fabric that is Nature’s Choice. While she will be missed greatly, she will always remain. Love endures and lasts.

“My heartfelt sympathy to Gerard, Corinna, Simon, Joey and Libby and the wider Burns and Elliott families.”

Corinna thanked all those who attended Deirdre’s wake and funeral, and Enda Love & Sons Undertakers for their care towards the family.

She continued: “Special thanks to Pastor Nigel Elliott and the Elim Pentecostal church family for the beautiful service and support for us.

“Thanks to Dr. Geoff Mulligan, the Palliative Care Team at Omagh Hospital, and to the teams of Ward One and Ward Nine, in the South West Acute Hospital.”

Deirdre’s funeral service was held on Thursday, May 4, at The Elim Pentecostal Church, followed by burial at Cross Cemetery.

Loving wife of Gerard and devoted mum to Corinna (Wayne), Simon (Aisling), Joey (Indre), and Libby (Mark), Deirdre was a very special grandmother to Joel, Giuliana, Myles, Zach and Darcie.

Loving daughter of Myles, and a special sister to Gerry, Mary, Colin and Rod, Deirdre was predeceased by her mother, Mary.