A long-time Southern Highlands resident and familiar face at Bowral and District Hospital has passed away.
Mary Wright (nee Gorrell) had a long family connection with farming properties in Warilla, Robertson and Sutton Forest.
She also worked as a theatre sister at Nowra Hospital and later at Bowral Hospital, a position which she performed with great pride and passion.
Mary passed away in Shellharbour Private Hospital on July 1, aged 86.
Prior to taking up nursing, Mary worked on a Yallah dairy farm.
She was a keen horse rider who also spent many years working on her parents' farms at Warrilla, "Rose Hill" and "Glencraig" on Jamberoo Road, Robertson, and later "Rotherwood" at Sutton Forest.
Educated at Marshall Mount Public School and Bowral High School Mary did general training at Bowral District Hospital 1952-55; midwifery training at Wollongong District Hospital 1956-57; and continued nursing at Shoalhaven District Hospital before returning to Bowral District Hospital 1965-84.
She gained post-graduate certificates in sterilisation technology in 1971, intensive care nursing in 1978, and stomal therapy in 1980.
Mary worked in operating theatres for four years, nurse education eight years, and wards and administration for seven years.
She joined the staff of the Young Australian League in 1963 as chaperone and trained nurse and accompanied 46 teenage girls on a six-month tour.
In 1977 she visited London for Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee celebrations.
Mary moved into her home in Bowral near the swimming pool where she lived for several years.
She later met the love of her life, Keith Wright, and they married in 1985. The nuptials were followed by a move to a farm, Nana Glen, where they ran cattle and poultry. It was there that Mary embraced her love of horse riding and enjoyed cattle work.
After Keith, her second loves were her fox terriers Lindy and Lou Lou. You would find one on Mary's lap and one on Keith's.
When it was time for Keith and Mary to retire, they sold the farm at Nana Glen and moved to Silverdale.
Gardening became their passion and they always had a beautiful display. Keith gladly dug the holes and as many as he dug Mary filled with colour. She loved bright colours, and welcomed anyone in to look around the garden which gave the green-thumbed couple great pride.
Many family gatherings, parties and Christmases were spent at Silverdale, all remembered fondly by those in attendance. In fact for all the many years while they lived at Silverdale, Mary and Keith happily hosted the family Christmas.
When gardening became too much with Keith's failing health the couple moved to Towradgi, where Keith eventually went into care. Mary was staunchly by his side until the end.
Mary loved all her sisters and brothers, never forgetting their birthdays or other special occassions.
She always kept in contact either by a phone call, card or letter and visited whenever possible. Many happy times were had by all including the yearly Gorrell family reunions held at various locations.
Mary always had a smile, was quick-witted and never afraid to speak her mind. She outlived all but one sibling, a brother, and 13 nieces and nephews. She remains in their hearts and is fondly remembered by all the relatives and friends her life has touched.
Mary was a loving wife of the late Keith, the love of her life. She was also a devoted sister to James, Mavis, Vonda, Pearl, Gwen, Lynne (all deceased) and Nell, as well as a loving aunty to her nieces and nephews, and adoring of her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
She is described by those who have survived her as a "flower that will grow among us and never wilt".
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