A love of cake, parties and life

CENTRAL Queensland's Jean “Jeannie” Dowie loved to party, she had a warm smile and was always up for a chat.

Her family were busy planning Jeannie's 70th birthday party but sadly she passed away on September 20, 2009, just short of her birthday.

Jean Clare Debney was born on October 2, 1939 in Rockhampton, the third of four children to Bill and Ada Debney.

The family moved around between Marlborough, Rosewood and Westwood and then back to Rockhampton in 1945, where Jean's father took a role with the railways.

Jean attended The Hall State School, excelling in both academics and sports, and it was here that her love of reading and tennis were developed.

She would read to her younger sister Pam most nights and when Jean got her first job at a dress shop, part of her weekly wages would buy Pam a new Golden Book.

Jean attended Kerr's College business school and landed a job at Stumm and Watt solicitors.

It was while working here that she was courted by John Dowie.

They were married on February 1, 1958 at St Joseph's Cathedral in Rockhampton.

Jeannie went from a stately home in Rockhampton to a boundary rider's hut in Nobdale with corrugated iron for walls and the roof.

Karen was born later that year. Not long after that they left Nobdale for Glen Afton, a large property 3km down the road. It was living here that Andrew, Michael, Susan and Julie were born.

After three years of horror drought, John, Jean and the family moved to Yeppoon in 1971.

Jean took a job at the state high school as the librarian, where she spent 18 years sharing her love of books and reading with the students.

Jean lived in Yeppoon for 30 years, where she was loved and treasured and forged life-long friendships.

Jeannie had a lot of different roles in her life as a daughter, sister, wife, aunty, mother of five, grandmother of eight and a second mother to many. She always loved a party. It was a chance to catch up with friends and family and always a chance for cake.

Jeannie loved everybody, and more importantly, she made everybody feel loved. Whether it was isolated in Nobdale or the suffering and indignity of Parkinsons, Jeannie took it all in her stride and kept smiling.

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