Lifetime of service to others

CHARITY, kindness and, above all, love.

They were traits that exemplified the life of Della McGraw, OAM, mourners were told at her funeral on Friday.

Guides, leaders and Scouting leaders paid tribute to Della McGraw, OAM.

Guides, leaders and Scouting leaders paid tribute to Della McGraw, OAM.

The former Guide leader and community worker demonstrated responsibility, kindness to others and an eagerness to show hospitality, Uniting Church funeral celebrant, Hazel Radley told mourners.

Mrs McGraw, 80, died on February 22, perhaps fittingly, on World Thinking Day, a day of friendship, advocacy and fund-raising for 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.

Mrs Radley said that Mrs McGraw was a devoted wife to Geoff, beloved mother and mother-in-law of Dianne and Geoff, Ashley and Sharon, Dale and Robyn. Her family included nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Mrs McGraw served the Cohuna and broader district community as a shire councillor, hospital board member, community health board member, historian and Tree Tops forest camp supporter.

Her most prominent role was leadership in the Girl Guides movement.

Mrs McGraw joined Guides as a 11-year-old and provided almost 60 years' leadership, serving as a Guides and Ranger Guides leader at Cohuna, divisional and regional commissioner, Trefoil Guild member and State Council member.

She earned Guiding's highest award, the Wattle Badge, in 2007 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her service to Guiding and the community.

Her daughter, Dianne Orr said that her mother was raised on a Mincha West farm, the only surviving child of Gladys and Harold Richardson. She was educated at Mincha West State School and Cohuna High School.

She worked for three years at a Bendigo jewellery store before marrying Geoff McGraw, renowned for his football ability, his service as a volunteer firefighter, ambulance driver and golfer. They would have been married 61 years this week.

Mrs McGraw was also a faithful Uniting Church member and gained comfort, strength and wisdom from her belief in God, her daughter said.

Her son, Ash said that she loved her community and considered her service to her town and district as a shire councillor, Cohuna District Hospital, Northern District Community Health Service and Guiding as a meaningful and necessary purpose.

Her other son, Dale said that her profound cooking skills enabled her to provide fine hospitality and to acknowledge the service and support of others.

Guides and Scouting colleagues honoured Mrs McGraw with a guard-of-honour as her coffin was carried from the Cohuna Uniting Church on her final journey to the lawn cemetery.

In Guiding parlance, Della May McGraw, OAM, as "gone home".

Della McGraw, OAM
May 6, 1938-February 22, 2019.

Della McGraw, OAM May 6, 1938-February 22, 2019.

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