A grandson's tribute to Patricia Lorna Gilmore

Patricia Lorna Gilmore passed away on September 1, 2020. Her funeral service was at Canobolas Gardens Crematorium Orange on September 7 and her eulogy was read by grandson Tobie Robert Gilmore.

We're all here today to celebrate the life of lovely little, Patricia Lorna Gilmore, a wife, mother, sister, auntie Pattie, Marnie, great Marnie or very old nanny and adored friend to countless people.

My Marnie was born on the 26th of August 1941 to Arthur and Mary Gladys Rawsthorne in Eugowra.

She was the baby of 15 and her height certainly illustrated this. She was the younger sister of, and forgive me while I catch my breath, Ernest, John, Leslie, Leila, Ruth, Claire, Allen, Evelyn, Elwyn (or Joe), Michael, Stanley, Vivian, Neville and Dora.

She adored every single one of her siblings and did absolutely anything and everything for them, their children and even their grandchildren her entire life, checking to see how every single one of them was doing every time she was up home.

Marnie and Dora, being very close in age, were inseparable. It was not hard to see that it was and always will be Dora and Pat being best friends for life.

While growing up in Eugowra, Marnie attended the local primary school, which is where I'm sure she learnt her gift of the gab. She always enjoyed other people's company and would always be able to strike up a conversation no matter who she was with.

Growing up in Eugowra also allowed my Marnie to be able to ride horses on her family property with her siblings. Being the youngest meant she didn't always get the first go, but she enjoyed the time with her brothers and sisters none the less.

She enjoyed baking with her mother and sisters which ensured that the small army was always fed.

She would also go and hang out with the troop and other friends from Eugowra down at Mandagery Creek to soak up some rays and have a quick dip.

Marnie also loved her tennis and played for it for years, competing in tournaments and playing leisurely. But above all else, Marnie's favourite pastime was dancing and singing. She always had the wireless on.

It was this passion for dance that caught the eye of an older boy one night at a ball in Eugowra. Like from a movie scene, my Grandad, Robert Gilmore saw her from across the room and instantly fell in love.

He then went around pointing her out to everyone saying "I'm gonna marry that woman one day" and sure enough, on the 9th of December 1961, he did just that.

They were both so happy and so much love with each other, which is why Marnie was able to leave her hometown and the only house she'd lived, to start a new chapter in her life at Kiembah.

After moving away to Kiembah at Gooloogong with her new husband, Marnie got a job at the telephone exchange where she was able to put her other passion of talking to use. Since she started working there, Grandad thought it would be funny to start calling her his call girl. She probably didn't like it at first but then the joke stuck and even she had a laugh about it as well as saying her classic "oh, Robert".

Another of Marnie's favourite pastimes was shopping. She loved to spend grandad's money as he would say. She would always be decked out in the loveliest clothes, shiniest jewel, flashest handbags and made sure she had high heels on so she could have a little bit more height about her, even if it only brought her total height to a little over 5 foot 2.

Whenever she wasn't dressed up to the nines though, she would be tending to her beloved garden. She would be down on her hands and knees in the dirt making sure that every flower was planted correctly and that the petals were in pristine condition.

Slightly parched plants would be flooded to make sure there was absolutely no chance of losing them and her garden being ruined.

Marnie also had the gift of being able to become a close friend to anyone of any age. Her sister Clare's daughter, Helen is a shining example of this. The two were considered sisters more often than niece and auntie due to their striking similarities and time spent together. They shared so many beautiful and fun memories that us three grandkids have heard numerous times.

As her siblings' families started to grow, so did her and grandad's own. On the 17th of September 1962, Marnie gave birth to her first son, Craig Anthony. She was smitten. She loved him so much and would always make sure her little Craigo was well fed.

Two years later on the 11th of January 1964 she gave birth to boofhead, my dad Scott Robert. She was so in love with both her boys and was determined to make sure they had the best up bringing they could. Craig and my Dad probably don't agree, but Marnie certainly thought she had a key eye for fashion when it came to her boys, dressing them up identical with their pants tucked up under their armpits and a nice greasy combover.

Craig and my dad were Marnie's life. She was so in love with them both. She loved showing them off to everyone as if to say, look what I made. Both her and Grandad gave their boys the best life they could've asked for.

They encouraged and supported the boys with their sport all the way from joining in on the backyard football and cricket matches, all the way through their school years.

Us grandkids were so lucky to have loving grandparents on a farm because it gave us so many long-lasting memories that some aren't able to experience. Like going out to feed the lambs that all have our names written in texta on their back so there were no fights or even going for rides on the tractor.

I personally will miss having our afternoon cup of tea and salmon and mayonnaise sandwiches watching old time movies. Which always started with us all having a joke with Marnie for putting her usual eight sugars into her small cup. To which she would say she just needs a little sweetening up.

I'm sure you all would know that we're all pretty uncoordinated in my family and we can't really determine who it came from, but Marnie or Grandad gave it to Uncle Craig and Dad who passed it onto us.

There was one time with Marnie when we had a mini quad bike and we would wear postie helmets. Jacinta and I had to take turns riding the bike and for the two seconds that Marnie had gone inside Jacinta had run over me and I was screaming. She got off the bike like all older siblings do trying to quieten me down and said, "whatever you do don't tell Marnie what happened".

After five minutes we walk back inside, Marnie turned around and saw the tyre marks going across my forehead and yelled out with a look of horror on her face "oh my gosh, what happened" to which I kept my promise and said "Jacinta did not run over my head with the quad".

There seems to be a reoccurring theme with motorbikes in this family because then a couple of months later, Matthew and I were riding the mini quad and peewee 50 in the paddock.

This is when we thought it would be a good idea to start doing doughnuts and tearing up the dirt. Marnie must've seen as doing this through the kitchen window and thought that was enough because she walked out, wooden spoon in hand yelling "your grandfather will kill you if he sees what you're doing".

We couldn't believe it because it was the first time that we'd ever seen her cross. She tried chasing us with those long legs of hers, but Matthew and I quickly tore off up the paddock and luckily for us, she had calmed down and thankfully didn't tell grandad.

If you go back through all of our home movies, you will definitely hear Marnie yelling in the background, we will never ever, ever, forget to do "Big circles" when we're riding on motorbikes.

There was one time when both Marnie and I went down to Hillpark to visit Craig in the afternoon and we went adventuring.

We were walking alongside the creek when she noticed an old metal milk container in the water. She explained she really wanted it for her garden and asked if I could grab it for her.

There I got waist deep in the freezing water and bought the container back to her. She then saw that it had a massive hole in the side and bottom of it, so she said, "Oh actually, you know what, don't worry about it darling, just go put it back where it was before your grandfather notices".

I couldn't believe it but did what she said. Then when after 30 minutes of standing in cold wet clothes it was time to leave. But to my surprise I wasn't allowed back in the statesman, I had to go back in the farm truck because we couldn't dirty the good car.

We all loved our Marnie with all our hearts', and we will miss kneeling all the way down for our kisses and cuddles we got from her.

Marnie was so excited to see that her family was growing once again with her great grandson Tate being born. She loved having him for a visit at the farm where he could also experience the life, she had given us all. She loved Tate with every bone in her body and always loved a kiss and cuddle from him. He will definitely miss his very old nanny as he called her.

Marnie was lucky enough not just to have us for the last 12 months and all the way to the end, but also her nephew Bruce and niece Trish who went out to her and bought out music to have a sing along and the odd dance which lifted her spirits so much. We cannot thank you enough for this.

Like I've continuously said, my Marnie had an absolute heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, even if she had only just met them. I am so glad that I was one of the lucky few who was able to grow up and have one person as a grandparent and best friend all at once.

I'm certain she is reunited, hand in hand with grandad and is looking down on us all, thankful that each and every one of you are here today.

(back L-R) George Greenhalgh, Beth Dickens, Trish Wright, Andrew Gilmore, Kath Collits, Kevin Rawsthorne, Foss Wright and Scott Gilmore,
(front) Colin & Wendy Greenhalgh, Dora Gilmore, Ruth Clemens, Bruce Jolliffe and Craig Gilmore

(back L-R) George Greenhalgh, Beth Dickens, Trish Wright, Andrew Gilmore, Kath Collits, Kevin Rawsthorne, Foss Wright and Scott Gilmore, (front) Colin & Wendy Greenhalgh, Dora Gilmore, Ruth Clemens, Bruce Jolliffe and Craig Gilmore