Carmel grew up in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of 6 children. She met her husband Gerald in 1965 at a local dance featuring a brass band. They dated for several years as Gerald worked in both Ireland and England. They married and immigrated to Canada in 1968 before immigrating once again to the United States in 1976.
In Canada, Carmel and her husband worked hard to save money so that they could return to Ireland to buy a home. Arriving only with a suitcase and what they had in their wallet, they hoped to find prosperity in a better economic climate. What they found was good hard work - working both night and day jobs - and the extreme cold climate of Edmonton, Alberta. Her main job was as a printing supervisor for the Edmonton School District. Shortly thereafter, they saved up the money they needed.
Upon returning to Ireland, they bought their first home and had their first of six sons. Carmel from then on became a full-time Mother. They also decided that Canada was a better fit for them and returned. Another son was born, this time in Canada, before they eventually decided to head south for warmer weather. After a brief stint in Victoria, BC., they finally settled in Portland, Oregon. There they enjoyed 30 years and four additional sons.
Carmel enjoyed spending time with her family most. She loved caring for her family and brought calm and order to the household. She was rarely seen idly hanging about. She was a marvelous cook and also enjoyed having guests over frequently. After all, it was rare that another household could handle hosting a family of eight. Later, she was also known for happily hosting large groups of youth from the churches. For personal relaxation, Carmel enjoyed writing letters, and was a dab hand at crocheting and knitting Irish sweaters and scarves. All the while, Carmel was never sick - it seemed as though her body wouldn't let her - she was too busy caring for others.
Carmel's unique personality brought amusement and joy to all she touched. She had a special way of making people feel important and welcome. She was also the center of her family and was fiercely loyal to them and to her friends. Carmel had a warm sense of humor and always put everyone else's needs ahead of her own. She never realized how many people she touched in her life. Carmel will be missed and dearly remembered by all who knew her.
She is survived by her husband Gerald; six sons, Corey, Aaron, Kieran, Shaney, Kyle and Orin; sisters Catherine Wallace, Eileen Wallace, Josephine Garrivan and Angela Gavin; and her brother Patrick Sheehan.
To view the tribute video online using Apple QuickTime, choose one of the following links.
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