More than 300 people packed the Bendoc Hall and surrounds to farewell Bendoc mother of eight, Michelle Farran after she lost her battle with brain cancer last Sunday.
Attendees heard reflections from family, friends, ex-students and a scout commissioner who presented Michelle with a Special Service Award.
They also listened to some of Michelle's songs and poems before heading to the Bendoc Community Cemetery.
At the beautiful forested site Michelle's song 'Cathedral of Forest Green' was played which contains the words 'When my days of toil are done, and I am judged for who I've been, I will lay my body down in a cathedral of Forest Green'.
Her friends pitched in to fill in the grave site before tea back at the Bendoc Hall.
Her family would like to thank those who contributed to the day and donated $1200 to the Brain Tumour Alliance.
Vale Michelle Farran - obituary
Michelle lived a very full life, though one tragically cut short.
She was born in Sydney and lived in Canley Vale and the Taree area before going to University at Bathurst and Canberra. Her first job was as a Forest Officer in Bendoc in 1989 and she has been leaving her mark in the area ever since. In that time she has had two husbands, eight children and pursued a wide variety of interests.
Michelle had a razor-sharp intelligence – higher than 99.75 per cent of the population. She was capable of immense empathy and sought out and supported the underdog, the misfit and the different. If she could see a problem that interested her she would get right to the heart of it and needed to fix it right now and nothing would distract her from it. She could talk the hind leg off a donkey that was underwater and encased in concrete.
She loved being in the bush – it refreshed her soul and inspired her creative mind. Traditional crafts were a challenge to her love of learning and she was never happier than when tanning a hide or plaiting rope. She was an active scout who in the week before she became ill, kayaked down the Murray for five days. Her musical talents were often on show and culminated in her album ‘Rockton’ from which songs for her celebration of life have been taken. If there was a stage and singing going on, Michelle wanted to be there… all night.
Michelle was a fantastic educator. She had an affinity for what the purpose of a lesson was and would draw elaborate pictures to inspire her class to understanding a concept. She devoured knowledge about how the brain works and how children develop and used this to work out programs for students with special needs.
Despite being pregnant or breast-feeding for nearly 20 years she was not one to play with her children – preferring to teach them how to cook or sew or gut a fish. She didn’t really have an ego so she was excellent at embarrassing her kids, such as being the only adult in her daughters’ dance class aged 45.
Michelle loved this area and gave out to her community in so many ways – as deputy controller of the Bendoc SES, as a Regional Commissioner for Scouts, on numerous boards and committees, with the Rotary Community Choir and 23 years as a parent at Monaro Dance Centre.
On the 3February 3, 2018 Michelle had a seizure and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Brain Cancer. Over the past year she had to cope with slowly losing her abilities. She kept her spirits; when she found she could no longer read she simply listened to audiobooks. The hardest thing was not being to ‘talk in English’ anymore. She fought hard despite the increasing discomfort and passed away on Sunday, February 17 shortly after midnight surrounded by family.
She will be sadly missed by all those whose hearts she touched.