LAST week, on November 8, Carmel Hernon passed away peacefully at Eventide Homes in Stawell, surrounded by her loving family.
Horsham residents will miss Carmel, as she was a vibrant member of the community both through her involvement in the Catholic Church, and also her life as the wife of a local farmer, and the mother of 10 children, and 15 grandchildren, many of whom now live in the Horsham area.
Carmel was an enthusiastic gardener, and the school children and residents in the area of Churchill avenue, Horsham will know of her colourful garden, where Carmel spent many an hour planting and weeding and watering her beloved plants.
Carmel was the wife of a farmer from Jeparit, Brian Hernon. Carmel and Brian loved their farms, the small modest plot in Berriwillock at first, and the larger farm in Jeparit, with horse yards and a tennis court, and extensive gardens.
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Carmel was very connected to the jobs on the farm and always had terrific meals and morning tea ready for the workers, and even on occasion was ready to help move equipment from paddock to paddock, even though she never officially learned to drive.
The Hernons always valued education as neither of them had had the opportunity to stay at school as long as they have wished. They both encouraged and were proud of their children's and grandchildren's academic achievements .
Carmel, even into her 90s, had immense curiosity and interest in all things, from nature to events overseas.
When some of her family were fortunate enough to be able to travel overseas, she was so excited to see and hear of their travels.
At one stage she had a map of the world pinned up on her wall, and a coloured pin representing the countries her children had visited.
Later in her life when Carmel took up oil painting, she created some wonderful paintings of Greek Islands and English gardens from post cards the family had sent.
Carmel worked tirelessly for her community and the Church, and was well known in Churchill road by all the passers-by, the school kids and others who would stop to chat and comment on her garden.
Eventually, at age 93, Carmel needed to go into care at Eventide Homes in Stawell. Carmel embraced the life and activities of Eventide, and had visits from family and other friends from Horsham almost every day.
The community at Eventide became like a second family. Carmel loved going out for lunch, or for a drive around the lake, or to look at the crops and gardens of Stawell.
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The residents, nurses, doctors, carers, cleaners, dish collectors, cooks, receptionists, gardeners and other peoples' visitors all loved Carmel. Her family wishes to pay tribute to the wonderful care that Carmel received in her years at Eventide.
All through the challenges of COVID-19, Eventide staff took special care of their residents, and at age 96 Carmel embraced technology, learning to use Zoom and Facebook to communicate with loved ones. She never complained.
Carmel was person of great humility and kindness, love and gratitude.
In her very last words, Carmel continually thanked everyone who did small things for her.
Carmel was much loved. She will be sadly missed.
Carmel's funeral was held at Sts Michael and John Catholic Church Horsham at 11 am on Wednesday, November, 17.
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