Mar­garet a fam­ily role model

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

BORN in Jandowae on Septem­ber 10, 1938, to Len and Gla­dys Thies, Mar­garet Patzwald was the youngest of three sib­lings.

The fam­ily lived and worked on a dairy farm, and Gla­dys used to place Mar­garet in a sugar bag with holes cut for her legs and hang her on the line while she did the wash­ing and milk­ing.

After mov­ing to a dairy farm at Mt Kynoch, near Toowoomba, the fam­ily lived in tents for two years while Len cut tim­ber at Mt Binga.

They shifted again to Kaimkil­len­bun, where Len carted milk to a cheese fac­tory and Mar­garet started school.

She was only four years old, but would follow her two brothers to school any­way and Gla­dys had work to do at home.

After mov­ing back to Mt Binga to a dairy farm, Mar­garet con­tracted rheumatic fever. She was 12 years old and the headaches it caused were so se­vere they ended her school­ing days.

Mar­garet’s brother Noel was good friends with her fu­ture hus­band Neil.

It was through this friend­ship the pair first laid eyes on each other, when they were 16 and at a ru­ral youth gath­er­ing.

Neil said he knew im­me­di­ately that Mar­garet was the one for him, although it took Mar­garet another seven years to re­alise Neil was the one for her.

The pair mar­ried when they were both 24, on May 4 1963, and moved to their own farm at Aber­corn on De­cem­ber 13, 1963.

By the end of 1965 they had two daugh­ters, Joanne and Rachel, and lived with no elec­tric­ity, no phone, no hot wa­ter and black soil that was im­pass­able in the wet.

Just be­fore their last daugh­ter Vir­ginia was born in 1971, the fam­ily moved to another house Neil and Mar­garet’s fa­ther had built just off the Bur­nett Hwy.

Mar­garet al­ways worked be­side Neil on the farm, feed­ing pigs, help­ing bale hay, work­ing with cat­tle and look­ing after the girls.

She had a pas­sion for gar­den­ing and trans­formed a bare, dusty house yard into a green oa­sis that ev­ery­one who drove past com­mented on.

After re­tir­ing in 2003, Neil and Mar­garet bought a car­a­van and set off trav­el­ling Aus­tralia.

Mar­garet was most happy when there was some­thing other than Spinifex to see and the pair spent 11 years trav­el­ling most of Aus­tralia, ex­cept for Tas­ma­nia as Mar­garet couldn’t swim.

She en­joyed fossicking and was most proud of an opal she found at Opal­ton.

Peo­ple from Dar­win to In­verell all heard of Mar­garet’s big find.

Mar­garet’s last days were spent at In­verell at a Rockarama week.

At din­ner the night be­fore her pass­ing, a fel­low was show­ing off an opal worth about $10,000 a carat. On the way home, Mar­garet said to Neil “that opal of mine might be worth a mil­lion dol­lars”, and to her it was.

Through­out Mar­garet’s life she held close her love of God and she was a role model to her fam­ily and the many friends she dearly loved. Her faith, fam­ily and church fel­low­ship were all very pre­cious to her.

Mar­garet died of a brain aneurysm on Oc­to­ber 24 and is sur­vived by Neil, brothers Noel and Barry and daugh­ters Joanna, Rachel and Vir­ginia and grand­chil­dren Kirstin, Brad, Kate, Bren­dan, Jay­den, Mad­di­son and Natasha, who pre­de­ceased her.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GREATLY MISSED: Mar­garet Patzwald with hus­band Neil. Her fam­ily re­mem­ber her as a great role model, a hard worker and she had a love for trav­el­ling.

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