- 79 years old
- Date of birth: Mar 8, 1935
- Date of passing: Mar 5, 2015
Maria Farnan was born on March 8th, 1935 in Bendigo, Victoria and passed away peacefully on March 5th, 2015 at Glengarry hospital, just a few days before her 80th birthday.
As we remember Maria, Mum, Grandma; there are many things that come to our minds, but her non-judgmental interest in people and her genuine concern for them is what truly made an impression on everyone she met. She influenced people by her example and her way of being. Maria made people feel they mattered. She lived her values every day. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. We will remember her forever.
"It is one year since I said goodbye to Mum. After reading all the tributes again it is so clear that Mums legacy is very strong in her children, our childhood friends and in our kids.
Her ability to put everything that she was doing and thinking to the side and just provide support and love was amazing and i have never seen anyone do that so completely and without prejudice. We can aspire to be like that and I hope i have treated my kids like that and that they will pass it on to their kids, keeping mum's legacy alive forever."
"Maria was passionate in every aspect of her life including her relationship with me, her lover and husband of 56 years. I am missing her.
My thanks to all who have left tributes."
"In 1957, when I was a 13 yr old kid from the bush, 22yr old Maria travelled over rough gravel roads to Robinvale in the backblocks of Victoria, to be part of a team of mostly young teachers who would establish a new high school. In dilapidated buildings & with few resources, this talented group of teachers set about giving those country children an experience of what education was all about.
Maria was vivacious & enthusiastic, inspiring interest in learning, especially drama, poetry & the French language. It was her love of learning that inspired me to become a passionate teacher of French & English.
She fitted in with life in that small country town - catching the school bus once each week with me, getting off the bus at the corner of our farm, walking up the gravel road in her high heels, giving me a piano lesson, eating dinner with our family & then being driven home by my mother.
Maria & I kept up a lifelong friendship. Every Christmas she would send a bulletin of family news & a photo of her growing family - most years, for 10 years, a new baby would appear on the Christmas photo!
Many students of those first two years of Robinvale High School remember, with affection & gratitude, Maria & the other teachers who gave so generously of their talents & time to enrich the lives of children who had previously had little hope & expectation of being able to have a secondary education.
Rest in peace, my dear friend."
"When I was about 11 Mum wrote in my Autograph Book "The person who never makes a mistake never makes anything of value". She let us all make our mistakes, she encouraged us to learn and grow.
She supported me whatever choices I made. I can't believe Mum is gone. She lives on in the amazing family I'm so proud to be part of."
"Whenever I came to Binningup or Perth, I always looked forward to seeing grandma. She always greeted me with a smile and was always friendly. She was always interested in whatever I was doing at the time. I will always miss her."
"Maria and John played a big part in Narell's life whilst the girls were in school opening their home to her and treating her as their own. Maria has left some truly wonderful memories for the girls. Our thoughts are with Naomi and the Farnhan Family at this sad time. Helen Tony Angie and Nora xxx"
"I will remember Maria as always being present in the moment, so genuine and caring about what was happening in your life. She was such a terrific person, with amazing values and a natural role model. For me personally, she simply made me feel so welcomed and valued into the Farnan family and that continued all the time. I know her spirit will live on in many ways through Naomi."
"During my high school years I think I spent more time at the Farnan's home than my own and it really did feel like home. Maria and John always made me feel so welcome and like I was part of the family. Everything was always warm, kind and easy in the Farnan household. Years on I recall visiting them in Binningup and it all feeling exactly the same.Maria was so welcoming and generous to all of us girls while we were growing up. As I think back to it now, I hope she knew how we all appreciated it and how great she was to us. I'm very sad for Naomi and the entire family and I send much love xxx"
"Maria was an amazing person.
She was my Aunt, who became my stand-in WA mum and I am blessed that I was accepted as part of the Perth family. She was kind, generous, loving, accepting, non-judgemental, spiritual, intelligent and the oracle of everything about children.
Emma and Jake were lucky to have Maria as their substItute Grandma, she was so generous with her time for them. I will miss our chats. Thank you for being there."
"As I grew up in this amazing family I didn't realise the magnitude of being the ninth child, in particular what that means for a mother. Now that I have two children of my own it begins to sink in. Mum and Dad had eight kids within ten years, and then seven years later when they were told they couldn't have any more - they found out they were going to have me. Mum's body was tired then, 37 years ago, but thankfully she survived my birth to be my mother.
Mum was simply there for us. She was kind - not just to our family, but to whoever needed her kindness at any given time. She welcomed all our friends into the house. I don't remember arguing with her. She didn't put pressure on us to live in a particular place, or do a particular type of study, or choose a particular type of career, or to be with a particular type of person, or be a particular type of parent. She just showed us what it meant to be a good person and how to have a positive impact on people, with the way she thought and lived and then set us free in the world to live our own version of that.
I couldn't have asked for a better Mum and I am grateful for every year she gave me. I will try to bring a little bit of her spirit each day to my kids, Gus and Emma, who won't remember the amazing person she was."
"It was many years ago, that I travelled to Perth to give my daughter away to Dom on the day of their marriage. My trepidation quickly washed away after meeting Maria and John and I felt overwhelmed by the love that I felt them giving to the couple and in particular by Maria for the support and love she was giving to my little girl. My prepared speech was cast to the winds and I told of my feelings that I knew would forever be given by Maria's family. Thank you Maria. Thank you.
You subsequently welcomed Jenny and me as members of your family too. That will always be special to us. Sorry to have missed your birthday anniversary. Love Steve and Jenny xx"
"Maria was exceptional, I have cherished memories of a strong, compassionate person whose intellect, wisdom and humour inspired those who were so fortunate to have known her ...... with love"
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