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‘Undertaker was a light in our darkness’

by Jimmy Rhatigan

A loving woman who lost her sister and daughter to sudden deaths has heaped praise on the undertaker who officiated at her beloved 35 year old daughter Rebecca’s ‘Becka’ funeral.

Heartbroken Rachael Dwyer, Lord Edward Street, Kilkenny told Kilkenny Press that Michael Shasby of Shasby Funeral Services, Hebron Industrial Estate helped to give her daughter Rebecca Fox the beautiful send-off she deserved.

Rebecca’s passing was the second cruel blow for her mother Rachael and dad Michael Fox in recent months as the sister she was so close to, Sharon Dwyer, Rebecca’s aunt, had passed away suddenly, exactly four months to the day of Rebecca’s shock death.

Like Rebecca, Sharon was hugely popular in her work place and amongst her many friends. Sharon, aged 54, was a friendly face at Jack & Jill Charity Shop,  Friary Street, Kilkenny. 

Sharon Dwyer RIP

“Rebecca passed away very suddenly. Need I tell you how devastated we were?” Rachael told Kilkenny Press.

“We contacted undertaker Michael Shasby as he is a local man we grew up with.

“Michael literally did everything. He was so professional and respectful to each and every one of us.

“He is a quiet gentleman who isn’t getting the recognition he so richly deserves. At our time of need Michael was a light in our darkness.

“We will forever be grateful to him and our great wish is that his name will be out there to highlight the brilliant services he offers. He was magnificent at a time when our extended family was devastated.

“We were shattered but the respect and love that Mr Shasby showed for our family was truly wonderful. He won our hearts at a cruel time.

“His kindness to us went way above the call of duty,” Rachael continued. 

Shasby Undertakers owner Michael Shasby

“He capped it all on the day of Rebecca’s cremation at Little Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy, County Cork when he arranged seating on the hearse carrying Becka’s remains so that myself and my other daughter Melissa could sit either side of Rebecca’s coffin on her final heartbreaking journey.

“That was a wonderful privilege. To be with Rebecca every mile of an emotional drive truly was a magnificent feeling for Melissa and me. We really appreciated that gesture.”

Rachael has two sons Shane and Michael. Grieving grandmother Teresa Fox lives on the Kells Road on the periphery of Kilkenny City. 

Rachael’s six grandchildren shed a tearful farewell to a young woman who was loved in her local community.

“Rebecca was on the staff of Ian Brennan’s Club House Hotel, Upper Patrick Street Kilkenny. 

Shasby’s Funeral Home, a neighbour to St Kieran’s Cemetery

“She loved working there and was treated superbly by Mr Brennan and his management team and all her fellow workers.

“Management and staff formed a guard of honour for Rebecca. That too was heart-warming. We are so grateful to everyone who did everything possible to make life as bearable as possible for us at one of the toughest times of our lives.”

Words of love from a mother’s heart

‘We said goodbye to our beautiful Becka. To say we are heartbroken is an understatement

‘ I couldn’t even start to mention all the people who helped us along our sad journey so I will just say thanks to my family, the Fox family, Ian Brennan and all the staff of the Club House Hotel, every single person who sent Mass Cards, messages and attended rosary and church.

‘Thanks also to those kind people who made the journey to Cork with us; a million thanks to you all.

‘Special thanks to Michael Shasby, Funeral Directors who went above and beyond to give Becka exactly what she deserved, dignity and respect from start to finish. Thanks again.

‘With love, Rachael Dwyer.’

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