April 5th 2006
Vale: Hilary Freeman 1949 - 2006
News has filtered back to Magnetic Island of the sad passing of Hilary Freeman, formerly of Horseshoe Bay, who died in Mackay on Wednesday March 22.
Hilary's husband, John told magnetictimes.com, "She died peacefully without pain two years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour." According to John, " Hilary was diagnosed with another tumour behind her eye six weeks ago. She wasn't well when she went in to hospital and didn't eat or drink after she came out. She eventually passed on the Wednesday just after her mum got up to see her".
Hilary was very well known on the Island where, before being diagnosed with the cancer, she worked as an office administrator with John and Alice Domelow at the Magnetic Island Community Supermarket.
Hilary was born in Biderford, Devon, England in 1949 and came to Australia aged 10. John met her where in Frankston, Victoria, where she worked as a Commonwealth Bank teller. Later she worked as a secretary for McPherson Kelly Solicitors and later again, Freedom Furniture.
The couple moved to Magnetic Island in 1988 with daughters Mindy and Aimee and purchased a house on Horseshoe Bay Rd and a business that was called "Pacific Fever" which they changed to "Australia Fair", a souvenir and t-shirt shop, most recently the site of the Magnetic Sports shop in Picnic Bay, which they ran from 1989 to 1996.
In 1996 Hilary had a cancerous kidney removed and the couple sold the business and took a break. Following this John started a garden maintenance business and Hilary began working with the Domelows.
After tumours were diagnosed in February 2004 Hilary ceased working and John became a carer for her and later that year sold his business. In March last year the couple moved to Mackay to be near their daughter Mindy and granddaughter Imogen.
John described Hilary as someone who had many friends. "She was always positive and she never whinged" he said, referring to her times of struggle with the disease.
According to John, Hilary's great passion was for reading. "She also wanted to write novels and wrote a couple of part fiction, part factual (stories) based on her coming from England to Australia." (A short poem Hilary wrote about a night at Lovers Bay on Magnetic's northern coast is reproduced below. Ed.)
Hilary's funeral was conducted in Mackay on Monday this week but John is planning to bring her ashes to Magnetic Island in July. He'splanning a soiree where all those who want to celebrate her life can join him at the far end of Horseshoe Bay beach where her wish, of having her ashes scattered in the ocean there, will be fulfilled.
As for John, "I've had my moments and I miss her like bloody crazy. But I'm like my mum. I hold emotion back but when I let go - watch out!"
Magnetic Times will advise readers when Hilary's life celebration is to happen closer to the time and encourages readers who wish to express their thoughts and feelings about Hilary to use our comments box below.