21/01/1933 - 29/09/2016
A Funeral Service will be held for the Life of Jillian Missing at St Andrew's Anglican Church, 27 Kinnord Street, Aberfeldie
Thursday, 06 October, 2016 at 02:00 pm
MISSING (nee Lancaster) Jillian Mary Jan. 21, 1933 - Sept. 29, 2016 Died peacefully at Arcadia Aged Care Facility. Loved and adored by all her family and friends. Jill was compassionate, generous and tolerant and made a difference to the lives of many. Sadly missed. Grateful thanks to the Arcadia community.
A Funeral Service will be held for the Life of Jillian Missing at St Andrew's Anglican Church, 27 St Kinnord Street, Aberfeldie on Thursday October 6, 2016 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jillian to World Vision. Envelopes will be available at the Church. A Private Cremation will follow.
My beautiful Mum died on Thursday. She was inspirational woman who, as a parent of four kids, managed to have a career when that wasn't fashionable. A great, innovative educator and leader, who on retirement worked tirelessly for the Victorian Aids Council and the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. She was a role model to be proud of, enormously loved by my Dad and all of us. Humorous, capable and compassionate, she died peacefully with my Dad and family by her side. This was a life well lived. I have so much gratitude to Big Al (my Dad) and my sister Jen who have ensured such quality and love for Jill during her last years. Thanks to the amazing staff at Arcadia and to my sisters Sal and Kate for their great support in recent times. What a family! I am so proud. We have so many terrific memories. Jill was always busy. Her busy hands made aids for her students, she knitted, sewed and crocheted, she made beautiful tapestries, great meals and Christmas cards to sell at the church fete. Her busy mind kept active with her love of history, geography, art and general knowledge and she enjoyed completing challenging crosswords. Her busy heart ensured love for all, first and foremost for my Dad and then her family but also for the wider community, whether here or overseas. She was always generous, broad minded and contributed to the community on a number of levels. Christmases at Jill and Al’s were always amazing. Jill's grand kids who loved her, were there is support today and my granddaughter, Jayda adored her. We all did. And she loved us back
Dear Sally, So sorry to hear of your Mum's passing away. I know how much you all loved and admired her and I know how much you'll all miss her. Reading your and Celia's thoughts reminded me what an influence your Mum had on my (early) life, as almost a second Mum. We should all treasure such wonderful role models who leave us with such an example of doing good in the world. Please pass of my best wishes to all the family. I wish there were not so many miles between us so I could be there on Thursday. I've let all the Wright's know the sad news. Phil
Hi Sally , so very sorry to hear about your mum passing . It is almost impossible to say the right things and to convey how sorry we are ( I have told mum and Anna) but for my part I would say both your mum and indeed your dad made a tremendous positive impact on my life which is still there so many years after you all emigrated . I like to remember the happy times we all shared and there will always be a piece of her memory with us which we will cherish . It's just before 8 am here and am about to get up but I just reflected for a few moments on your mum . One fond memory I recall was the car she had which she let me go in. It was a " Bubble Car" with a strange front opening door . I'm sure you all remember it ! As a young boy I was fascinated by it and I remember your mum being so kind . The memory has stuck with me through all these years . Please pass on my condolences and love to you all , you will be in my thoughts in what is a very difficult time I know . And I will remember your mum with great love and affection . Dave
My dear Sally We all loved Jill. A wonderful example of human kindness...her saucy humour I will always remember. Always told with aplomb. Our thoughts are with you and sending our love as you all take the next step in life's journey. May the love and support of us all, go a little way to ameliorating the chasmic loss you must all be feeling. Our sincerest condolences to everybody and THANK YOU for allowing us today be with you in thought at least. I will light a candle for her on Sunday in the newly renovated Mitropoleos church ....Our last weekend here. Lots of love and cuddles Alex and Nick.xxxx
So sad for you Sally. She has been such a wonderful mother and also a grand woman in the world. I will always remember her as extravagantly kind, funny, loving and smart. A legend. You were very lucky to have her and she and your dad reared a fine crop of children. much love to you all xxxxrose
I was very sorry to hear of Jill's passing. I remember her as a wonderful,fun and empathetic principal.She was a great mentor and was much loved by the whole school community.
Eulogy Part 1 Of course, everyone’s mum is special, but my mum was extra special. She was a true Christian – exemplifying “love thy neighbor as thyself” and was generous and tolerant. She and my dad had a very special relationship. They adored each other. Combining their names, we called them the JALS, because they belonged together. Theirs was a fairytale love story. Mum taught us to be independent, kind, caring, interested in the world. She taught us that making a contribution and family were the most important things in life – and this is her legacy and is reflected in the values of our family through the generations. Mum would often say: “Its nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” though the statement was twee, it reflected her strong belief that what mattered was not who you were, but how you were. She had a great commitment to social justice and found practical ways to support refugees and new arrivals throughout her life. Whilst family always came first, mum also managed a very successful career in teaching at a time when not many women with large families pursued careers. She was a natural with children and had an incredible memory of their families. Dad’s support for mum’s career of course helped to make this happen. If my memory is correct, she was the only career mum and the first woman in the street to own a car – her Heinkel bubble car. Generosity: My parents are the most unselfish people I know. As long as I have known them they have opened their hearts and their home to others. In England in the school holidays, a boy from Dr Barnados homes would come and stay. At one stage we had a single mum that mum was teaching with who came to stay in our tiny house in Grappenhall through her pregnancy – in those days single mothers spent their confinements in homes away from the public eye as punishment for their transgressions. At Christmas in Australia, my mum would prepare a huge traditional English Christmas feast. No detail was left out. The whole extended family was expected. There were always others – those who had no family to share their Christmas with – the Molyneux when we first arrived in Australia, Margaret and Denis Foster after their son died, the Fitzgeralds one year and Christmas Judy who we love to see each year. Tolerance Everyone was equal in my mothers’ eyes and though my mother had her own strict moral code, she was not one for judging others. In Grappenhall England in the 60’s, I was lucky, I had a whole bedroom to myself with a double bed. My mum asked me if I would give up my room for a few days as we had guests. The guests were a black South African Michael and his Irish partner Patrick. It was only many years later that the penny dropped. I asked her: “ Mum were they gay?” “Yes” she said. “Any you offered them my bed?” “Of course” she said. My mum loved everyone and was so interested in other cultures. She took a special interest in the students from school from other countries and loved to tell the story of a student she had taught in preps who couldn’t speak a word of English, but was Dux of the school by graduation. Heart bypass My mother had a coronary heart bypass, a serious operation requiring a couple of days in intensive care, with tubes everywhere. As my mum recovered from the anaesthetic, the nurse removed the breathing tube from her throat. You can talk now she said. My mum’s first words were: “Happy International Nurses Day!” of course she was guaranteed extra special care from then on. Becoming an Aussie Mum gave up her home, left her mum and sister to come to a country where she knew only two people. Said she would feel like she belongs here when she walked down Puckle Street Moonee Ponds and could greet people she knew in the street. She took to her new country with gusto and I remember (not so fondly) her interest in all the new bigger insects and spiders. When she decided to become an Australian citizen, she asked for the ceremony to take place at school so she could share it with all the kids. Facing dementia. Mum knew she had dementia and had seen her own mum’s journey with it. She faced it with great courage, never complaining. In Arcadia, she was almost always cheerful, her love of music, animals and of course my dad, being the strong themes. It was the collective mission of Dad and Jen and the lovely staff at Arcadia to ensure my mum’s last days were happy. They did a fabulous job. In a moment of lucidity when her words were failing her, she told one of the staff “this is a lovely place, all my friends are here”. She has been a wonderful mother and role model and we will sorely miss her.
On 5/10/2016, 8:44 PM, "Rosie Gore"
Dear Jill’s Family, I was deeply saddened upon hearing the very sad news of Jill’s passing. When you have the honour of knowing a person like Jill, you feel that she will always be part of your life. In a way, it is true that Jill will always be part of my life. She has contributed to my life so significantly that my words cannot express my gratitude. As I used to tell her: Jill (and Alastair) I would never be where I am now, if I did not have the honour of meeting you on that special day in 1983. A week later, you were the first Australians who visited us in the Midway Hostel and on that day, you laid the foundation of my Australian life. What followed is your demonstrated care, love, compassion, understanding and wisdom. Not many people in this world are as lucky as I am, to meet such an amazing and selfless person. When I went through a very difficult time, temporarily leaving my family for a job in Canberra, you were my support and a great encouragement. As a farewell present, you gave us money to visit the Melbourne Zoo for the first time. Your thoughtful little presents at every visit, your words of praise at every achievement will never be erased from my memories. Oh, my dear Jill, why cannot I enjoy your company any longer…. May God embrace you in His heart as you embraced so many people in your heart during your life. May He reward you for all your kindness. My love and appreciation to you Jill will last forever. My thoughts are with you Alastair, your beautiful daughters and their families. With love, Inka
Jill was one of the best storytellers I’ve ever met- which is a fantastic quality for a grandmother to have. I didn’t realise the scope of her storytelling until this week actually, when friends from afar reminisced childhood parties. Other children invited clowns to parties, or had jumping castles but it wasn’t uncommon for her grandchildren to invite her along to tell stories. So, I thought it fitting to give my reflection a storytelling structure. Amongst dicky-birds, fingers of German soldiers and rabbits disguised as chicken for dinner, my two favourite Jill stories are about the Woman who Lived in the Vinegar Bottle and Mafuta and the happy beads. I will do Jill an injustice to retell these stories- but in case you haven’t heard them, here’s the abridged. There was an old woman who loved in a vinegar bottle. She always complained about her life and her lot- saying ‘tis a shame, ‘tis a shame. A fairy came along and granted her 3 wishes to change her circumstances. After moving from country to city and back, on the third wish, she realises that, given the choice, she would live her life with her lot, in her vinegar bottle. After which she comes to appreciate her life without complaint. What I like most about this story is firstly the way that Jill told it with an old painted wine bottle, and she would spin you around for each wish. Above all, I love that Jill couldn’t be any less like the Vinegar Jar lady. Jill needed no third wish to know and appreciate her life and her lot. Jill never forgot to mention how lucky she felt about her life and the people in it. She always expressed gratitude and appreciation every time we saw her- even in Arcadia, when Jill had quite advanced dementia she never forgot to mention “aren’t we lucky” when family and friends came to visit. I think too that this feeling of being blessed is what empowered Jill to do good and have empathy for others less fortunate. Jill recognised her own good fortune, but also others plight… ??? Mafuta and the Happy Beads is a Jill story that sticks in my mind. I’m not sure where she collected it, or if she made it up. It tells the story of a young African boy who is protected from lions by a straw hat that makes him invisible. Mafuta narrowly escapes becoming a lion’s lunch when the hat falls into a river while he is collecting seeds to make a necklace. In rejoice, Mafuta and his mother create a necklace with the beads to give to an Australian Schoolteacher. Jill told this story, and presented the Happy Beads necklace at the end. She would invite each child to sample the happy beads. Without exception, as soon as the beads were around your neck, every child would break into an ear-to-ear grin that they couldn’t wipe for the rest of the day. The beads were magic. It wasn’t until many years later that I realised that the beads weren’t magic, Jill was. In fact, as a 10 year old, I was quite convinced that Jill was magic. I couldn’t believe that there was a character in a children’s novel based on her- Albus Dumbledoor in Harry Potter. I was a little old to believe this, but I was genuinely surprised that JK Rowling had fictionalised Jill. Jill went to teachers college at Alnwick Castle- Hogwarts. She was the principal of a school, and knew every detail about every student who had passed through her door. Dumbledoor even had the same handwriting as Jill. I was told Jill could magically materialise lollies into sandcastles, and I knew for a fact that she cold disconnect and reconnect her fingers. Jill was, as a grandmother, just like wearing happy beads all of the time. Her sunniness and warmth won everybody over. She made everybody feel special, wanted and loved. We are so grateful and blessed to have had Jill and Alastair as grandparents and role models in our lives. Both have demonstrated such kindness, good humour and selflessness while showing immense dedication to one another. Sarah reflected, and this certainly holds true for me, that when envisaging the type of person she wants to become, she often thinks of Jill and Al.
I don't think there is any way I can speak highly enough of Jill. My childhood is full of memories of Jill being the most fun and caring grandma you could ever imagine. From her magic tricks to having fun in the pool to endless stories about any possible topic you can think of. I will always treasure the time I got to spend with Jill and Al after kinder. Jill's love for others was so clear. Whether it was shown through opening her home and feeding people or driving to the asylum seeker centre to drop off donations. Jill obviously really loved those close to her, but I really admired the way Jill loved everyone. She was so unconditional in her love for everybody and this was so clear by the way she lived her life and the way she prioritised others. I'm so happy that Jill was a big part of my life and I'm proud to even have known her. The way Jill lived her life full of love and joy has had a massive influence in my life. This is the opinion that we all share of Jill. She was the single most beautiful person that I have ever known. Her selflessness and generosity knew no bounds. Even while at Arcadia she still managed to make everyone smile with her jovial presence and constant singing. Jill, along with Al, helped shape all of our lives just as much as our parents, teachers or anyone else. We are all better people for having had her to guide us through adulthood, and her legacy of always putting others first and doing everything with a song and a smile will live on through all of her grandchildren. Jill affected more peoples lives than I think we will ever know. You will be missed Jill, but the impact that you made through your life will never be forgotten.
I didn't realise you could leave messages here, and I am so glad to. How sad I was to hear of Jill's passing, and my heart goes out to all her family. Some 25 or more years ago, I set foot for the first time on Australian shores, on my own, but not for very long! I was met by Jill and Al, who made me so welcome and were just like my own family. Jill's warmth and welcome and continued friendliness were invaluable for me and gave me the boost I needed to carry on on my travels on my own. Whilst there I met up again with all the girls and families, I remember we drove to Adelaide and saw Jen - I couldn't believe how long it took, it looked about four hours away on the map! Jill and Al took me round, showed me the sights, and generally treated me like one of their own. You could tell Jill anything, she wouldbe very comforting and not in the least judgemental. I have such fond memories of her and all the family during my time in Oz. So sad, such a lovely lady, my love to you all, I will never forget.xxxxxx Anna
As grandparents, Jill and Al set the tone for how out of the ordinary they would be at a young age when they decided we’d all refer to them by their first names – we wouldn’t get away with calling them grandma, nanna, gran or pa (saying they weren’t old enough and all the other names were taken!) There are a number of very lucky grandchildren who have been blessed to grow up with the Jals in our lives. Conor and Lachie, myself, Sarah and Caz, Sam, Jack and Mitch and one bubbly great granddaughter, Jayda. Sarah and Mitch are unable to be with us today but have contributed to the reflections we’ll share. Jill and al have been such wonderful role models to all of us (and no doubt others). Both have demonstrated such kindness, generosity, good humour, and selflessness, while showing immense dedication to one another. The people you think of, when you think about the kind of person you would like to become. Jill has been an exemplary grandmother, always taking an interest, doting on us by filling us up with ice-cream, lollies and chip butties and generally spoiling us rotten. Sleepovers involved us being taken anywhere we wanted, made any food we chose, and after all of that, given warmed towels and ironed sheets before being tucked into bed. There’s things that have undoubtedly been inherited or inspired by Jill, including: • An incredible connection with all creatures great and small, from rabbit and reptile companions, to generations of well loved horses, and a plethora of rescue dogs, cats and birds over the years. • An excitement and enthusiasm for all traditions Christmas related including cooking for the masses. • An uncanny knack for recognising people in the street from years ago and ability to recall their names, the names of their siblings, uncles and second cousins once removed • Social justice and equity as a strong theme in what we’ve pursued or how we go about things. • And also a weird love for strong tasting foods (octopus, pickled gherkins and blue cheese to name a few) Jill’s positivity, and good humour meant she made everything fun, always had a joke or two and could be heard singing around the house or wandering down the street. It was hard to be unhappy around her. There’s definitely some sunshiney personalities among us, and those who love and live for music and theatre. Jill’s wicked sense of humour meant she loved to play small tricks on us. Once, as a four year old, Sarah asked Jill why the Jal’s place had not one but two toilets, Jill told her it was because one was for weeing and one for pooing. Within the hour came the pitter patter of running footprints from one end of the house to the other…. Confused Mum asked Sarah what she was doing. We heard Sarah sing out as she ran down the hall “I’ve already weeeeed and now I need to pooooo” Christmas was where Jill's generosity really shone - not only was everyone welcome, but as we got a bit older and shifted to a Kris Kringle to keep the gift giving under control, Jill still wanted to buy each and every one of us a gift, and did so under the guise of the Christmas tree fairy. Sarah recalls an argument with a classmate in grade two who said this fairy wasn't real – flabbergasted, she corrected them and said it wasn't her fault the Christmas Tree Fairy hadn't brought them anything! And a final note on generosity. Jill's decision to make a savings account for all her grandchildren as they were born demonstrated her love for family, but also enabled some of our first overseas trips as adults. Sarah wrote that this has inspired a love for travel that’s strongly influenced who she is today (and why she’s currently trekking in Nepal and unable to be here). I’d say that this is also true for most of us. Jill inspired a love of new experiences and inquisitiveness. This continues through the adventures we’ve had, some including: • playing lacrosse in Italy • feeding big cats in the UK • teaching swimming in Samoa • sweeping snow in Brooklyn • a cruise to Antarctica • knitting with a mum’s group in Peru • and studying in Germany