Gowna and Arva communties bid fond farewell to popular businessman

There was an undeniable uniqueness about Noel Ellis, a captivating charm almost.

There was an undeniable uniqueness about Noel Ellis, a captivating charm almost.

And it was precisely those sentiments which dominated proceedings inside a full to capacity Church of the Holy Family at Loch Gowna last week (June 1) as mourners paid a fond farewell to the popular father of three.

A proud family man and successful businessman, Noel was this week described by close family members as a “total perfectionist”, a man who never settled for second best.

“He was just gifted with his hands. No matter how good a job may have been, it was never to his satisfaction,” said a relation of the Farrangarve entrepreneur.

Much of that search for excellence came courtesy of Noel’s deep-seated involvement in his family’s fruit and vegetable business. Equally, and perhaps more so, the former Moyne Community School student was renowned for his all-round entrepreneurial capabilities.

“He was known for his ability to transform any private house or business. He seeked perfection,” added the family member.

The son of Noel and Mary Ellis, much of the 51-year-old’s early life was spent at the family home at nearby Cormore alongside his two brothers (Sean and Ciaran) and three sisters (Rosaleen, Bernie and Martina).

Having acquired a taste for enterprise and played a leading role in the family firm, Noel, opted to branch out as a sole trader in the mid to late 80s.

Despite the volatile economic climate, the move proved an immediate success. Through a combination of unstinting hard work and astute business acumen, key contacts were built up across South Cavan, north Longford and into the likes of Granard, Kilcogy, Abbeylara, Finea, Ballinalee, Gowna, Ballinagh and, of course, Arva.

All the while, his accomplishments in various other sectors of commercial everyday life were continuing to reap rich dividends.

“Although every pub would be closed on Good Friday, there was always a counter to be painted,” smiled one of Noel’s close relations. “He would be booked out for years in advance.”

In the midst of this success, he met and would later marry his beloved wife, Kathleen (nee Lynch), prompting a move to what would soon become the family home at Farrangarve, Arva.

It was there the much admired couple spent all of their married life, together with their three children, Noel, Vanessa and Sabrina.

An avid socialiser, Noel, as his friends pointed out this week, also maintained a keen interest in an altogether different past-time.

“He liked to back the odd horse in his spare time,” added the family member. “He had an infanity to following the number one. In fact, the numbers one and seven were his favourites, they were his lucky numbers.”

Eager to press home that interest, Noel went a step further by taking up a share in the locally owned ‘Lady’s Harte’ syndicate.

But it was his allure and engaging persona which characterised proceedings at his Funeral Mass on Bank Holiday Monday (June 4).

Emotional musical tributes took centre stage, epitomised by the likes of ‘No Frontiers’, ‘Remember Me’, Frank Sinatra classic ‘My Way’ as well as Noel’s all-time favourite tune ‘Sonny Don’t Go Away’.

Following Funeral Mass, burial took place at Cornea Cemetary. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, son, Noel, daughters Vanessa and Sabrina, brothers Sean and Ciaran, sisters Rosaleen, Bernie and Martina, extended family and a wide circle of neighbours and friends.

Asked how history might look upon the much loved businessman and man more commonly known as ‘Feathers’, the family member added: “His ability to leave his mark on you was just unique. Whatever the occasion, he could light up any room within seconds. That was Noel, he was just a great character to be with.”