THE devoted family of a much-missed Greenock woman who passed away after contracting covid are set to help people across Inverclyde say a proper goodbye to loved ones they were barred from fully honouring during the pandemic.

Mum-of-four Mary Nixon, 66, who lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) for more than 40 years, tragically died in April 2020 - and only ten people were allowed to attend her funeral due to restrictions that were in place at the time.

It meant that Mary's full family were denied the chance to properly grieve the loss of the beloved mum and gran. 

But now, to mark what would have been her 70th birthday, Mary's children Deborah, Alexis, John, and Ann have organised a charity event in her honour, and they want families across the district who had to endure the same pain to join them in a celebration of life. 

Greenock Telegraph:
The Remembering Mary fundraiser will be held at Greenock Town Hall on March 23, and all proceeds will go to MS Revive. 

Daughter Alexis, 43, said: "We want to give families what they never had at that time. 

"So many families didn't have the time together that they should have had at the end. 

"It's so painful not being able to be together when you lose someone that you love so much."

Mary's MS was uncovered after the birth of her first child, Deborah, when she was 19. 

The birth left her paralysed down one side and after a series of tests over the next year, she was initially diagnosed with inflammation of the nervous system. 

This led to a formal diagnosis of MS, and she was advised by medics not to have any more children but she defied the odds by adding to her family. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Mary, who was a single mum to her four children, suffered two major MS relapses in her life, one in 2014 and one again in 2019. 

Her daughter Ann said: "When she was 60, we were told to prepare for the worst. 

"She was in high dependency for three weeks but she came through it."

 Alexis added: "She never took any medication and she always had a really high pain threshold. 

"From 2014, she needed a wheelchair to get out and about.

"She was a fighter and was so strong."

Mary endured chest sepsis in 2019 which left her really weak, and Ann said when coronavirus arrived in Inverclyde, the family feared the worst. 

She added: "We somehow knew that would be what took her. 

"She was ready to go. 

"When she was admitted with covid she said, 'I've lived my life and I know I will die happy'."

Mary lived on Larkfield Road, Grieve Road, and then Bow Road. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Deborah, 51, says Mary 'adored' being a gran to Gabrielle, Erika, and Harrison, and said her family was 'everything' to her.

She added: "Mum loved good food and she liked a wee flutter at the bookies. 

"She would talk to everyone and anyone and would give her last penny to someone who needed it. 

"She used to go into the town with her sister Hannah and would go out searching for the Tele team as she wanted to be in Talk of the Towns. 

"Mum was a beautiful singer but she never got any of the lyrics right so we would have a good laugh at that. 

"She had a quick wit and was sharp as a tack, and had a great sense of humour. 

"She took great pride in being a single mum and was a credit to us."

The Remembering Mary event falls on the National Day of Reflection, and also coincides with MS Awareness Month. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Mary's family want people to get in touch with names and pictures of loved ones lost in advance of the event, and will bring everything together in the form of a tribute. 

Deborah added: "We just want to celebrate our mum and remember what a great lady she was.

"People shouldn't just be remembered because they died from covid. 

"There was so much more to our mum than that."

Ann said: "We want to focus on the families and the stories behind the names and faces that were all over the news at that time. 

"The lives of the families affected were changed forever and the grieving process was made so much more complicated."

Alexis added: "It will be amazing to have people in the same room together who all have this shared experience. 

"It won't just be a memorial, it will be a celebration of life.

"We can all hug each other now."

To book tickets for the charity event, and to submit photos of and messages for loved ones, search for Remembering Mary on Facebook. 

To donate visit