VALE GRACE McKENZIE.
Even though Grace McKenzie was no longer an active member many people would remember her as Daryl’s wife and by her gentle ways. Grace really was Grace by name and grace by nature. She joined Doncaster Bowls Club on 10th April 1978 which was before Daryl joined.
Over 40 friends and family attended her funeral, where our members made a surprising discovery. Grace was over 100 years old.
Grace’s daughter Judith gave the Eulogy which is so wonderfully written , I will transcribe it almost word for word.
”As we gather together to farewell our beloved Grace, I am privileged as her daughter to share some insights from her well lived life.
Looking back over nearly a century, Grace was born in Preston on the 19th December 1921. She was a bonny baby and commanded centre stage until the birth of her brother Ernie. Despite the 11 year age gap, the two were to remain unfailing friends and supporters.
Given her incredible longevity, Grace had the time to make her mark on many different people, skills and experiences. She has enjoyed robust health until very recently and has received special accolades from Queen Elizabeth and the Governor General and other luminaries, applauding her value as a very special senior citizen.
Perhaps the key to Grace’s happiness and longevity lies with two men, Frank and Daryl, who each shared her life over long periods of time. They brought to their marriages commitment, kindness and unwavering love.
Frank and Grace married when Grace was 19 and created their family by the birth of Judith and Michael. They helped run Frank’s family hotel in South Melbourne. It was a live-in arrangement and after eight years Grace longed for a place of her own. They settled in North Balwyn, then moving several times but always in the eastern suburbs where they enjoyed the company of good friends.
Daryl and Grace shared what might be called an ‘Autumn Marriage’. He brought to the relationship three growing boys, having lost his first wife to illness. With time and patience, Grace helped the boys settle in as part of a strong and supportive family.
Grace and Daryl first met at a Parents Without Partners BBQ. And it nearly didn’t happen. At the last minute Grace got cold feet and it was only her son talking tough to her that got her on the move.
Sadly Michael died from a brain tumour at 39, an event from which she never truly recovered. Daryl was to prove a great comforter to both Grace and Judith and won the respect of all who knew him.
Grace was a member of the Doncaster Bowling Club when they met and she made some wonderful friends. She encouraged Daryl to join and they shared years of pleasure bowling together. Bowling was the last interest she expected to take up, but amazingly she went on to become a valued pennant player.
Grace also had a life long love of dancing. She spent Saturday afternoons preparing her hair and clothes to wow the boys at the local Town Hall dances. Very recently she and Daryl wowed an appreciative audience when they demonstrated how the Cha Cha should be done. And all this just short of 100 years of age.
She had a talent for putting together an original look for her clothes and homes. She knew how to use colour and to coordinate, she accessorised, added and subtracted just to get the look she wanted. That was a special skill.
She was a wife , a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother. It is now time for Grace to embark on her greatest adventure. We acknowledge her for the rich life she has led and shared, and for the legacy of love she leaves us with. Should a woman dressed with unusual flair cross our path, let’s remember Grace and raise a hand in salute.”
Daryl says that Grace enjoyed the social side of bowls more than Pennant. This was obvious when Grace and Betty Fyffe decided that a day at the races was higher on the agenda than playing Pennant ….they were severely reprimanded!!! Grace and Daryl announced their engagement at one of the bowls club’s Saturday dinner dances and they loved the Sunday smorgasbord. They always attended Thursday and Wednesday night meals to the very end.
They celebrated Grace’s 100 birthday at the Box Hill RSL in December 2021 and their 40 wedding anniversary a few weeks later………..Lyn Goodman.
Here are photos of happy overseas and bowling trips.
🌹 VALE TO GRACE, AN ELEGANT, SWEET AND LOVELY LADY .🌹