The Board, Officers and Members of the Irish Kidney Association were deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden passing of Angeline Cooke, from Maunsells Road, Galway, on 31st March 2023. Our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. A founding member of the Association, Angeline underwent a kidney transplant in 1996. She enjoyed the successful longevity of this transplant for over 25 years before returning to dialysis treatment.
Angeline, together with her late husband Bernard, who passed away in 2012, committed their voluntary lives’ work to the Irish Kidney Association’s Galway branch’s kidney patients. Totally devoted to each other, they were founder members when the Association was established in 1978. As a united couple they were determined that, under their guidance, dialysis and transplant patients would receive the best treatment and facilities that were possible.
Angeline and Bernard understood the importance of improved facilities, be it hospital equipment, haemodialysis transport arrangements, respite holidays, patient aid, and much more. They both dedicated themselves to achieve these goals by becoming unrelenting major fundraisers. After Bernard’s passing, Angeline continued to pledge her support to the Association and be an active member with the local branch, never missing a branch meeting right up until her death. She will be remembered fondly by nursing and medical staff who cared for her at University Hospital Galway. She always had praise for the care she received from dialysis staff in Unit 7.
Polite and soft spoken, the former dedicated schoolteacher was not afraid to speak up when she saw injustice, and her insight and experience was of huge benefit to the Board’s policy making. Her efforts helped create a culture of kindness and always acting in the best interests of patients which the IKA continues to benefit from to this day.
Angeline had a passion for music and was a gifted painter. Her watercolours were often publicly exhibited and are proudly hung in many homes. She encouraged dialysis patients to take up art.
Angeline spoke fondly of her brother-in-law Frank and his wife Eithne who lived nearby and their daughter Vicky who were a constant support to her. She also kept in regular contact through WhatsApp with her late sister’s daughter, Vicky and grandniece Deborah who live in Switzerland. Angeline’s cousin Marie, from Clonmel, also had undergone an organ transplant, a liver transplant over seventeen years ago. She was always grateful to wonderful neighbours and in particular Anne who stopped by regularly.
The Irish Kidney Association has lost one of its ‘greats’ and she will live long in the minds and hearts of all who had the privilege to know her!
The beautiful blessing, ‘On the death of the Beloved’ from the book ‘Benedictus’ by John O’Donoghue, was read aloud at Bernard’s funeral and it is now fitting that we offer it as a tribute to Angeline as she reunites with him in an eternal place of peaceful rest.
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in the safe place in our hearts
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart,
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.