Maureen Delahunty was born into a large family and over her long life became the centre of an even bigger family.
Born January 9 1931, to Lily and Michael Delahunty of ErinsVale Murtoa she was the youngest living of eight children and would say, with a twinkle in her eye, the best.
Maureen was the cherished aunty of 34 nieces and nephews, 68 great nieces and nephews and with her iPad and social media savvy she happily tracked her tribe.
Maureen served the Wimmera community as a nurse for 40 years, beginning her training at 19 at the Mercy in Melbourne.
In her starched white veil she was a formidable sight first at Murtoa, Horsham, Minyip and back at Murtoa until she retired at 60.
After graduation Maureen and friends ventured to New Zealand and working at a Catholic hospital, they hitchhiked around both islands in their time off.
She was an adventurous traveller and returned from Japan in the late 1950s with a geisha doll protected in a glass box and was thrilled to visit in England, the Oratory, where her parents Lily and Mick were married after his discharge from war service.
Maureen spoke fondly of her childhood at ErinsVale. With brothers, Frank, Laurie and Rody on their ponies and sisters Joan, Elizabeth and Dorothy in the buggy, Maureen would ride to school in Murtoa rain, hail or shine.
Following her siblings Maureen went to boarding school in Ballarat, at Loreto Abbey. She studied well, was a netball champion and pretty handy at tennis.
Maureen was the driving force last Christmas behind the tennis tournament at Murtoa between the families, enthusiastically cheering both sides.
As her siblings married Maureen lost count of the number of times she was bridesmaid and midwife. She became an active and interested aunty.
She was a knowledgeable Aussie rules follower, but her great nephew Tom Lynch’s success at the Gold Coast Suns turned her into a footy tragic.
Maureen was fearless at tennis and table tennis, later taking up golf and lawn bowls with gusto.
She baked a hell of a pavlova and won ‘Best in Show’ at Murtoa with her sponge cake! Maureen loved being with friends, watching the footy, enjoying Probus, and meeting her ‘Marmaites’ group every month.
At Trinity Manor she was energetic with sublime embroidery and her bubbly personality meant she was in everything, from cards to concerts. If it involved dress ups, especially zany hats, Maureen was at the front of the queue.
She was the keeper of the digital Delahunty family tree and her honoured place in it is assured.