By Suzanne Pender
A MUCH-LOVED wife, mother and daughter was laid to rest yesterday (Tuesday), leaving a family and an entire community struggling to comprehend her devastating death at just 37 years of age.
Pamela Reid (née Hutton), originally from Pollerton Big, Carlow died suddenly at her home in Springfield Park, Burrin Road last Thursday evening. In a truly unimaginable turn of events, Pamela had dropped her ten-year-old son Seán to training at Palatine GAA at 6pm, then suddenly took ill when she arrived home.
Despite the extraordinary efforts of her husband John, who was by her side, and the emergency services, Pamela’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she died just before 7.30pm.
“It’s devastating, just so sudden. She was so young … it’s shocking for everyone,” Pamela’s sister-in-law Vanessa Reid told The Nationalist.
“Pamela was such a bubbly person, the absolute life and soul of every party or family event. She loved to dance, loved getting dressed up and having everyone together. Her beautiful smile was always the first thing you saw,” she added.
Daughter of Kevin and Kathleen Hutton (née Walker) and younger sister of Tanya, Pamela’s life was surrounded by love and she was hugely popular in the Carlow community. She worked for 17 years at Quinagh Crèche and Montessori School, where her kind and caring nature was valued enormously by staff, parents and the many children she cared for.
A wonderful wife and mother, Pamela was John’s rock throughout their 17 years together, while little Seán was Pamela’s “absolute everything”.
Pamela was John’s biggest supporter during his playing days with Palatine GAA, never missing a single game, while she was also incredibly proud when John and his brother Paul were recently appointed joint managers of the senior Pal team.
Seeing her son now don the red and green of Pal was another source of huge pride for Pamela and she was always there on the sidelines cheering him on.
“They were an incredible couple. They were married in June 2015 and were 17 years together. Her parents were saying yesterday that her wedding day was the best day of Pamela’s life – they’d never seen her so happy … she couldn’t wait to become Mrs Reid,” said Vanessa.
A wonderful friend to so many, Pamela was also a huge fan of Nathan Carter and in May 2018 was absolutely thrilled to meet her idol at a concert in Killarney.
Vanessa paid tribute to the huge outpouring of support the Reid and Hutton families have received in recent days, the kind messages and expressions of love and support.
In a moving tribute on social media, Palatine GAA remarked: ‘Our club and community is in deep mourning with the devastating loss of Pamela Reid on Thursday evening. Pamela’s passing is so hard to comprehend and accept and our hearts go out to her beloved husband John, her darling son Seán and the Reid and Hutton families.
‘We will rally to support them as best we can and we ask all of our members and friends to do the same. There are difficult days ahead for the Reid and Hutton families, but we will stand with them throughout. We were privileged to know Pamela and she achieved so much in her all-too-short life, a life filled with love.’
It’s been a deeply harrowing time for the community of Bennekerry, with Pamela’s death coming just hours after news of Eric Fitzgibbon’s tragic death following an accident in Canada. Many members of Eric’s family live in the Bennekerry community and the bereaved families are very well known to each other. The death of two young people within hours also visits a community still reeling from the heartbreaking death of 27-year-old Amanda Kinsella in August.
Pamela’s removal took place yesterday to St Mary’s Church, Bennekerry via Tullow Road and Palatine GAA Club, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
Guards of honour were provided by Palatine GAA and Bennekerry NS, where Seán is a pupil.
Pamela is survived by her loving husband John, son Seán, step-daughters Megan and Holly, parents Kevin and Kathleen, sister Tanya, granny Hutton, grandad Walker, mother-in-law Brigid, father-in-law Pat, god-daughter Ellie, extended family, neighbours and a large circle of friends.