Dis­trict Pays Tribute Claudette Ros­alie McMil­lan – 5 Au­gust 1941 – 17 April 2018

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY NOEL LOUGHNAN

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.

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