District Pays Tribute Claudette Rosalie McMillan – 5 August 1941 – 17 April 2018
The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Community farewelled Claudette Mc Millan in a touching Funeral Service at St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church Yarrawonga on 23rd April.
Testimony to her valued contribution to the community and to the church was manifested in the large attendance of more than 400 mourners at her funeral, many of them travelling from a wide surrounding area to celebrate her beautiful life.
Claudette McMillan, 76 passed away after a long illness at Yarrawonga Hospital on 17th April, two days after she and husband Jack celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on 15th April. She was the ‘rock’ of the McMillan family.
The funeral was held at St Cuthbert’s Church in which Claudette and Jack were married 57 years ago.
Rev. Fr. Neil Hicks, rector of St Cuthbert’s officiated the service at the church and Mulwala Cemetery.
Fr. Hicks said Claudette was a woman of great faith. He found her to be totally in control of her life.
“She had love for all people, this is why we are here today. The recent Parish Fete for which she worked so hard for many years was the best fete ever held.
“We thank God for having Claudette in our life, we draw inspiration from her life.” Fr Hicks said.
Yarrawonga-Mulwala has lost a dedicated member of the community who touched many lives and provided many people and families with care, love and support over many years.
After being such a provider for her entire life, Claudette endured a long distressing illness but during this time still maintained her dignity with pride.
Claudette had many gifts but her love of family, gracious acceptance of each day’s challenges, her spirit of friendliness and readiness to help were very special.
Her love, joy, peace and kindness had a powerful influence on all she met.
Eulogies were delivered by her two daughters, Deidre and Janis.
Deidre Poll Eulogy
Claudette Rosalie Cooper was born on 5th August 1941 at the Corowa Hospital, the third child to proud parents Claude and Dulcie Cooper of Rand, N.S.W.
At that time her parents worked on Murrnong Station, Rand.
She attended the Bidgeemia School with older brothers Bernard and Allan.
With James and Valerie as littlies at home.
The rest of her schooling was at Albury High School and Mt. Gwynne. She completed 3rd year at
Mulwala Central in 1956. Riding her pushbike in and out every day.
When I asked her what were her favourite things at school she said “Not Arithmetic”!
Mum’s first job after leaving school was in Benalla at Rudins Drapery Store, where she boarded with her now Sister-In-Law Connie.
She started going out with Jack McMillan who drove a flash FJ panel van – and was quite a handsome young man – so he tells me!
Claudette and Jack spent happy courting days at Bernarra. Dad’s brother Bobby and sister Marg and other school friends spent a lot of time out there with them and lots of fun was had.
In 1959 Jack was her partner for her Debut in Yarrawonga.
At this time she was working in Yarrawonga at McLennans big store which was located where the Commonwealth bank is now, boarding In Mulwala with Aunty Sis Stewart.
Mum and dad married on 15th April 1961 At St. Cuthbert’s, Yarrawonga, and celebrated their 57th Anniversary last Sunday. They were thrilled with the article that was published in the Chronicle on 11th.
In The 1960’s their four Children arrived into the family - Deidre, Ross, Janis and Rodney.
In The Early 1970’s they bought a house at 69 Orr Street, Yarrawonga where we all grew up.
Living in Orr Street was great as our block contained families with children our ages and we grew up with them and attended school together and formed life long friendships.
Mum and Dad must have been perfect neighbours, we were always hopping the fences in Orr Street and the next house they lived in, in Scott Court saw a gate cut into the back fence for easy access to the back neighbours.
Where ever they lived they were not only friends with the neighbours, but became involved with the children and grandchildren of the neighbours, attending family events such as weddings and mum always remembered birthdays and special events in all their lives.
The 1980’s were busy times, establishing and running The Garden / Florist Business –Pot-et-Fleur in Belmore Street along with running teenage kids here and there and being involved with their activities.
In1990 – They both retired from business and moved into Scott Court – where they soon started welcoming their grandchildren Alex, Callan, Kelsey, Zach, Liam, Amy, Dylan, Cooper, Jorja, Crystal and Angus.
There are now 3 Great-Grandchildren, Isaac, Blake and Allie-May
Tegan, Bryce and Kelsi were also welcomed as part of our extended family.
There was always a demand for Nan’s jelly slice and home made bread whenever the grandkids were around.
In 2005 they downsized and bought a unit in Irvine Parade which soon resulted in another gate cut into a fence!
Mum loved playing netball and tennis and formed many friendships, playing for Bundalong Red and Yarrawonga Lawn Tennis club.
Mum was an active member of the community becoming a life member of the Yarrawonga Tennis Club – helping run the catering at the annual tennis tournaments for many years.
She was also on the St Cuthbert’s auxiliary and served as treasurer for 27 years. Her catering skills were put to use with catering for functions held at the church as well as assisting with the running of the op shop and the church fete for many years until her illness intervened.
Family life and connections were also an important part of mum’s life.
Growing up with close ties to a large extended family of Stewarts and Coopers brought many enjoyable times.
Get togethers at the annual Cooper reunions and other not so regular family reunions.
Memorable times were also had when the McMillan clan all got together.
Mother’s day picnics to boat rock were another great family adventure.
Mum and dad brought timeshare at Beach House in Coolangatta and often invited friends and family to join them. We were lucky enough to take them up there with us a few times in the last few years.
The last family holiday was in July last year when they came with Rohan and I and our children and partners to the Sunshine Coast to holiday with Ross and Lindel, just before mum went into hospital for her back operation.
When mum first became unwell in April 2016 and soon after was given a diagnosis of multiple myeloma she handled the news bravely which was due to her faith and knowing she had support from her family and friends.
She endured rounds of chemo and radiation and different drug regimens which seemed to work for a short time, but then saw regression with one thing or another continually popping up and causing problems.
Mum wasn’t the “Text-Book” case. On behalf of Dad, my brothers and sister and our families we would like to thank everyone who popped around for a visit, brought food, flowers, provided transport to appointments and helped or offered any other sort of help over the last two years.
Rod, Janis, Ross and I would also like to thank the doctors and nurses who have cared for mum and our friends and workplaces who have supported us over this journey.
Janis McMillan Eulogy
Lord, you knew what you were doing when you made our Mum
You knew you’d reached perfection, and could never make another one.
You had made a one-off model, so you threw away the mould.
You gave Mum the patience of a Saint and a heart of pure gold.
You gave her eyes that never looked for fault in anyone.
You filled her soul with so much love and compassion by the ton.
You gave her sympathetic ears and such understanding too.
She would always lend a helping hand if there was something she could do.
Friends can come and friends can go but there was no friend like our mum.
Lord, you must have felt so proud when you saw just what you’d done.
To some she might have seemed naïve but those who love her know her worth.
For Lord, when you created Mum you placed an Angel on this earth.
Following the funeral mourners were invited to share memories and refreshments at Burkes Hotel.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Yarrawonga-Mulwala Funeral Services.
Claudette Rosalie McMillan.