Dianne Marie Kendall (Williams)
10 April 1959 – 10 July 2006
Dianne Kendall’s great sense of humour and wit helped her form a special bond with the elderly whom she looked after as an aged care nurse.
Born at Lismore Base Hospital, Dianne was the second of four children. She attended school at our Lady of Lourdes in Lismore then completed her final years at St Mary’s.
Dianne commenced her enrolled nurse training – then known as nursing aide – at St Vincent’s Lismore where she gained distinctions.
Dianne married her childhood sweetheart John on 1 September 1979. They moved to Port Macquarie because of John’s work and Dianne started at the local private hospital as a theatre nurse.
After a couple of years they were again on the move to Collarenebri where there was limited work for an enrolled nurse. So Dianne found a new job on the cotton plantations as a stick picker. She went on to learn how to use the large land levellers and the cotton module pressers as well as being a Jill of all trades.
After three years, Dianne and John were once again on the move – this time to Merimbula on the South Coast – and once again she changed jobs, finding work in an ice cream shop. It was while they were there that Dianne became pregnant with the first of five girls.
Returning to Lismore to be closer to family and friends, Dianne became a stay-at-home mum so she could enjoy the time with her other four girls. After her daughters went to school she decided to return to nursing, and found she had a special bond with the aged.
Dianne worked for some time in the Caroona hostel, then in the community with Sherwood and Crowley nursers looking after clients in their homes. Dianne’s residents and clients loved her great sense of humour and bright wit.
Dianne’s greatest joy in life was her girls and John. On a family outing to Dubbo zoo Dianne got left behind at the giraffe enclosure. When the girls returned she was sitting there mesmerised by the giraffes.
Dianne was diagnosed in November 2005 with a fast growing tumour of the breast. She had to have her breast removed and the usual run of chemo and ray treatment followed. It was during this time that she discovered more tumours in her neck and at the operation site.
All this made her sick but she still had time for her family and friends and was always more concerned about what they were up to. However, she became increasingly sick and more tests found that two tumours had spread to her brain.
One of Dianne’s dreams was to get well and go in a hot air balloon over Africa so she could see the giraffes in the wild.
However, she passed away in Brisbane, her loving family by her side, just seven months after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Dianne’s motto for her girls and her many friends was ‘You go girl, you can do anything’.
Her beautiful smile and her enthusiasm for life will be greatly missed by all.
by Catrina Walmsley,
St Vincent’s Hospital Lismore
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