ANITA’S FUNERAL was held on Thursday 16th April 2020 at Springwood Myrtle Chapel near Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, only 10 mourners were allowed. Some mourners could not attend because they were ‘locked down’ at home as they were classed as ‘high risk’.
Fortunately, the funeral was Webcast and this allowed mourners to feel part of the service, which was conducted by Father Liam Collister of St Oswald’s Church, Old Swan, Liverpool.
Anita’s father’s Funeral Mass was held at St Oswald’s Church and Fr Liam gave a wonderful service which Anita would have delighted her.
At the service, her son Matthew Shiel delivered this moving Eulogy about his mother…
“Anita Margaret Shiel was my mum. But before then, she was Anita Margaret McDermott. A Sandgrounder. Born in Southport to Tom and Marjorie McDermott.
Both parents were musical and mum followed in their footsteps learning the saxophone.
In the swinging sixties she met my dad Ray Shiel, and they married on mums 24th birthday in Dublin.
Mum went on to have four sons; John, Denis, Matthew and Philip.
Mum worked as a secretary and then many years later as a geriatric nurse. She would often say the patients would say to her ‘one day you’ll end up like me’. Mum always insisted she wouldn’t.
Mum loved music. She shared her love with her children and we learned all the standards and jazz greats. She loved the films of her youth too and we shared this on TV.
Mum was never a house proud woman. With four boys and their friends always coming and going it was never a quiet household. Over the years we all moved on and the home became quieter.
Mum always loved animals and said she preferred them to people. We grew up with cats all our lives. From Marmaduke to Sylvester, mum was rarely without a cat. But she would feed strays as well and supported many animal charities throughout the years. But she loved her sons most of all.
She shared in our lives and watched as we graduated, got married and performed on stage. She enjoyed the happiness of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her last few months she spent with Eli and Isaac a lot. Enjoying trips to the supermarket and watching videos of them. They reminded her of her own childhood and the days she spent with her own parents who she is with now.
Mum had a great sense of humour and loved hearing funny stories. She was always one for the dramatic and was fond of saying she ‘felt death all around her’. She also said that we shouldn’t mourn her when she is gone. That’s something we will have to work on mum.
She spent her later years with Larry King, a drummer. They were together until Larry’s own death in 2017.
Mum then moved from our family home to a smaller flat and then finally to Beechside. She enjoyed those last years too. Mum was great at making friends and was never lonely. She enjoyed her own company as much as being in a crowd.
She always spoke of all the musicians she will meet when she gets to Heaven and I hope she is very happy with her new group of friends.
Due to the coronavirus we never had chance to see her in the last weeks of her life. She understood this and, continuing her flair for the dramatic still chose to die during a global pandemic. She always said she had had a happy life and she did. She really did.”