Centurion May farewelled

September 14, 2017

Vera May Nixon, who turned 100-years-of-age on June 11, passed away on August 20 and was farewelled by some 120 mourners at St Mary's Catholic Church Corowa on September 4.

The eulogy was delivered by granddaughters Elizabeth, Andrea and Cynthia Nixon, which included: "May, as she was known to all, had a very long and full life. She was a wonderful wife, mother, sister, aunty, grandmother and great grandmother, and she gathered an enormous group of friends.

"May was born at the Talbot family property 'Roslyn Grange' at Coreen. She was the second daughter of Joseph Ephriam and Sarah Talbot. At the age of eight, she started as a boarder at Rutherglen Convent followed by secondary school in Melbourne at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy, where amongst other things she learnt the violin.

"She joined the war effort, enlisting in the Australian Army on 27th November 1942 in Melbourne, finishing in December 1946. She was based in Prahran alongside the army barracks in Fawkner Park and had the rank of Lance Sergeant.

"May married Gordon in 1954 and for their honeymoon travelled to New Zealand by 'flying boat' (as then described). They lived together at 'Maylands' at Rand, where she became involved in farming and home duties which included caring for Trevor. Gordon’s first wife Marion had passed away five years previously. At Rand she joined in community organisations and played golf and bowls. She was a great supporter of the local footy team.

"At this time she helped her sister Joyce (who was ill) by caring for her twins Mary and Gerard Blair developing a very close lasting relationship with them.

"In 1966 after Trevor married Lynette, Gordon and May decided to move to Corowa. In Corowa she joined in bowls, Probus, Catholic Ladies, CWA, Meals on Wheels and many other activities.

"Grandchildren were her joy and so she began a great relationship with her granddaughters Liz, Andrea, and Cynthia, and grandson Phil. She also treasured her four great grandchildren, Ned, Tilly, Sebastian and Lachlan. We loved her dearly.

"May had strong beliefs and we admired her for this even though she could be determined in her ways at times. For example, she refused to wear pants until she was 85, even though complaining of the cold. But once she changed her mind, she never went back to skirts again.

"She did a wonderful job caring for Gordon in his twilight years, He passed away in 1996. May continued to live in the family home in River Street for as long as she could, finally moving to Karinya where she spent the last 14 months of her life. Even in these last months that twinkle in her deep blue eyes was still there and as a family we would like to acknowledge the wonderful and professional care she received at Karinya."

Celebrant Father Paul Hart, who conducted the funeral service, described May as "a person of spirit, welcoming and great carer" who had "a great innings".

"May was involved in lots of things. She was a strong person, a person of great character. She'd go out striding in the rain with her walking stick when others would stay inside!" Fr Hart said. "There was a good crowd at the funeral."

the Committal Service at the Corowa Lawn Cemetery, mourners gathered at Corowa RSL Club to share refreshments and recall many fond memories of May.

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