John MacKessy passed peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, August 4, following a brief illness. Born in Ballintubber, Newcastle West, County Limerick in Ireland, on August 20, 1932, John immigrated to the United States in 1956. Originally residing in Bronx, N.Y., and later moving to Queens and then Yonkers, N.Y., John was a tradesman who worked construction on many projects, most notably working on the World’s Fair in 1964. He went on to drive for Liberty Lines Bus Service until his retirement in 1999.
John was proud of his heritage, and spent his early days in America at socials and dances sponsored by local Irish organizations. It was at one of these dances that he met his wife, Sheila (O’Donoghue), to whom he was married for 50 years. John was an enthusiastic supporter of Gaelic football and hurling, often cheering on his home team of Limerick at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Every Sunday afternoon, he made sure to tune in to WFUV to hear the news from Ireland, and each March he was a fixture in the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade marching with his home county.
John is predeceased by his parents, Richard and Mary, and his siblings, Richard, Sheila Frawley, and Kathleen Killion.
He is mourned by his loving wife, Sheila; his sons, John (Michelle) of Tarrytown, N.Y., and Stephen (Rebekah) of Newtown, Conn.; his eight grandchildren: Jack, Grace, Patrick, Nora, Liam, Chloe, Fiona, and Fisher; and many dear nieces and nephews.
A gentle man and a gentleman, he will be remembered for his kind heart and mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Visiting hours will be Monday, August 8, from 4 to 8 pm, at Yorktown Funeral Home, Yorktown Heights, N.Y. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, August 9, at 10:15 am at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., with an internment following at Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family may make donations in John’s memory to Aisling Irish Community & Cultural Center, 990 McLean Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704, or online at: aislingcenter.org/donations-2.