Bridie McManamy 102nd birthday

Keash native Bridie who left for US in 1947 will soon be 102!

Bridget (Bridie) Elizabeth McManamy was born on the 10th of April 1917 in Broher, Keash, Ballymote, and County Sligo.Her father Dominick was the manager of the local creamery and her mother Sarah a housewife.
Bridie was raised on a farm where she worked with her sisters Kathleen, Matilda and brother Domnick-John until she moved to England.After finishing her schooling in Carrowcrory National School, Bridie and her best friend Bee McGuinn applied and were accepted into nursing school in Dorset England.She received her Degree in nursing in May 1942. When World War II broke out in 1939 life changed dramatically for Bridie.While in London in 1940, she witnessed the devastation of the bombing and one day while looking out the hospital window saw a German plane shoot down a British plane.

Air raids and black-outs became the norm and the evacuation of patients to the hospital basement was a daily event.

Later Bridie moved to Coventry which was an industrial city with a lot of munitions factories. The city was almost levelled in the constant bombing and the tragedy was so awful, people were not even allowed into the city for over six weeks, such was the devastation.

Bridie was Deputy Charge nurse at Leicester Hospital when she met the love of her life Corporal Wilbert “Tippy” Tyler, a Cryptographic Technician with the US Army Air Corp.

Following their courtship, Bridie and Wilbert were married on the 20th of January 1945 at St. Peters Church in Leicester.

After D-Day, Wilbert’s tour of duty was complete and he was shipped back to the US at the end of 1945 just as his first daughter Patricia “Pat” was born.

Bridie and Patricia followed Wilbert to the US travelling from Southampton Harbour, England on 20th March, 1947 on the SS Ericsson.

They arrived at New York and then took a train to Chicago and onto Seattle to start a new life in the USA.

Her first home was in Grayland Washington State and as it was not near any hospital Bridie could not continue her career as a nurse.

Instead the young couple quickly developed a cranberry business and two more daughters were born, Vicky Arlene and Lillian Ann. During the next few decades Bridie worked her cranberry farms and also worked for Ocean Spray factory until she retired in March 1982.

Throughout her life Bridie remained a devout catholic and actively participated in her church. Like her sisters, Bridie loved music and played the accordion and was active in the church choir where she had several solo performances.

She is also a wonderful homemaker and excels at gardening and baking. Her pies are legendary locally and even at 102 years of age she still bakes each day.

Bridie loves travel and spent much of her retirement travelling the west coast of America in her beloved motor home with her children and grandchildren.

Despite the distance between them Bridie remained close with her sisters and extended family in Ireland with letters religiously exchanged every week.

In 1980 she came back with her husband and family for her first and only visit to her homeland and had a wonderful holiday in county Sligo.

Sadly Bridie lost her husband in 1987 and her adored daughter Patricia to cancer in 2008.

Today she lives independently surrounded by her loving family and is fully involved in the lives of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She remains close to her nieces and nephews in Ireland.