The death took place recently of Gladys Edmondson, who was well known throughout the community in her role as a dedicated nurse and Nurse Manager.

Gladys (75) from Corryglass, Letterbreen, was a staff nurse and then Night Manager at the former Erne Hospital, serving in the profession for over 45 years until her retirement in 2011.

She leaves a son, Mark and a brother, Fred, both living at Letterbreen.

Gladys was born in 1942, the daughter of Thomas and Margaret Patterson. As the Rev. Sam McGuffin stated in his address at her funeral in Letterbreen Methodist Church, she was born on June 12 that year during the Second World War and on the same day that Anne Frank received a diary as a present on her 13th birthday.

Following her education at the local Corryglass School and Enniskillen Model School, she entered nursing training in Omagh after which she began her career as a staff nurse at the former Erne Hospital in 1966.

An intelligent, practical, compassionate and caring person, she was ideally suited to the nursing profession and she became an outstanding nurse held in the highest regard and affection for her work.

Gladys spent her working career not only looking after the needs of her patients but also the welfare of her nursing staff. 

As a local representative of the Royal College of Nursing, she attended many meetings and conferences on her colleagues’ behalf. She witnessed many changes in the National Health Service and helped to implement and manage them always having the patient as the focal point.

Her nursing colleagues said Gladys loved life and fun and had a great approach to staff.

As a senior member of the nursing team at the hospital, Gladys was to the forefront of some horrific sights and violent incidents but her fun loving nature helped her to cope with the mental and physical strain.

She was also a Marie Curie nurse during the latter part of her nursing career. 

Gladys overcame illness herself, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 but returned to work continuing until her retirement after which she immersed herself in a range of community activities involving her church, helping senior citizens and those recovering from illness. 

Gladys was a lifelong and committed member of Letterbreen Methodist Church, making a major contribution to its life and work including giving exemplary leadership to its women’s work. 

She was, said, Rev. McGuffin, at the heart of its spiritual life, its hospitality and its fellowship. 

Gladys was a member of the Letterbreen Methodist Womens’ in Ireland, where she held various roles including President and also a member of Letterbreen Tea Club.

An accomplished gardener, Gladys took great pleasure in her garden where there was always a colourful display of blooms. She was an active member of Fermanagh Gardening Society and attended shows and exhibitions around the country and she also put her flower arranging skills to use especially in church circles.

She was also a former Chairperson of Lakeland Seniors, helping to promote activities for older people.

Always willing to offer help to whoever needed it, Gladys got involved in the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care and also with the work of the Ely Centre where she became a Director.

She was also a member of Breast Strokes, a support group for people who have suffered from breast cancer. She also loved children and gave great support to those she met while they were patients in hospital.

Her outgoing personality made her many friends on numerous outings, bus trips and holidays.

Her funeral service took place in Letterbreen Methodist Church conducted by the Rev. Sam McGuffin, Superintendent Minister. 

Tributes were paid by some former colleagues of Gladys including Derek Humes, representing the Ambulance Service and Nurse Siobhan McNeill from the nursing team.

The hymns were “All things bright and beautiful,” “There is a green hill far away,” and “The Lord’s my Shepherd”. 
The organist was Mr Albert Wallace.
The burial took place in Mullaghdun Parish Churchyard.

Donations in lieu of flowers went to the Stroke Unit, South West Acute Hospital and to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Gladys is survived by her son, Mark and brother, Fred. She was predeceased by a sister, Phyllis.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by W.T. Morrison, Funeral Directors, Darling Street, Enniskillen.