Margaret a family role model
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.
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.