ALMA Hartley was Lavington Panthers Football Club’s No. 1 one chip cooker, a tireless volunteer for Mercy Hospital’s palliative care unit and had begun ticking off her “bucket list”.
Mrs Hartley, 81, mother of five, grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of four, was killed early on Friday morning in a collision with a car.
She was riding her scooter to meet the palliative care walking group she led twice a week.
“I really believe her life was cut short at 81,” her daughter Janice said.
Janice Lee and her brothers, Stephen, Garry, Ross and Brett, this week spoke of their mother at her Glenroy unit and shared photographs of her life.
In one, a smiling Mrs Hartley stands beside Ross on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
That was one of the “to dos” on her bucket list. She had already been on the Harley Davidson motorcycle ride and the cruise to Vanuatu.
In another, she smiles beside her late husband Bill, who died of lung cancer three years ago.
And in another, the pair are pictured with Vietnamese crab catchers at a time when they lived in the Northern Territory at King Ash Bay for 15 years.
One of the crab catchers who had taken to calling the couple mum and dad called from Vietnam at the weekend to express his sympathy to his “mum’s” family.
Mrs Hartley was born at Lavington and lived most of her life there.
Her father, James Hilton, was a shearer and the charity work of her mother, Ethel, sowed the seeds of Mrs Hartley’s fund-raising work for the North Albury pool.
Bill, a builder was a great Lavington Panthers supporter.
The couple’s great nephew Joel Hartley plays seniors for the team, the Hartley stand is named after Bill’s father, William, and Garry, Ross and Brett all played for the club.
Mrs Hartley was the first woman to receive life membership.
“She was a big, bubbly personality,” former Panthers coach Tim Sanson said. “She was a ripper.”
Past president Brian Chalmers said Mrs Hartley was a kind person who liked a good laugh.
“She she was a very strong supporter of the football and netball club,” Mr Chalmers said.
“She was a lovely lady who’ll be sadly missed.”
Club manager Penny Graham said the Panthers would back Mrs Hartley’s dream of a memorial garden for the Mercy palliative care unit. A trivia night she was organising will still be held on March 16.
Mrs Lee said her mother’s work with the Mercy was a tribute to the help of its staff when she nursed Bill at home.
Another photo, of Mrs Hartley and a brand-new Ferrari-red scooter, was taken on February 8, 2010, exactly two years before she died.
“She loved that scooter, it was her lifeline,” Mrs Lee said.
- The trivia night will be held on March 16 from 7.30pm at the Lavington Panthers Football Club.