Marie Williams was the first of four daughters born to Sam and Elsie Williams at Bairnsdale in April 1919.
Marie was always regarded as a great beauty, and her stories of her social life as a young woman attest to that. She had many and varied occupations, which include hairdressing and dental nursing. She also spent time as a volunteer housekeeper at the Catholic Mission in Port Moresby. Whilst there she made lasting friendships with fellow volunteer missionaries. Her final place of employment was the Victorian Department of Transport in Carlton. She retired from there around 1978.
Her marriage to Mick Rochford was unfortunately only a short one, parting as they did shortly after they married in 1949.
As a single woman with three younger married sisters who all had children, she was a loving and active aunt to her many nieces and nephews who remember her with much love.
The experience as a volunteer in Port Moresby probably planted the seed of travel in Marie’s psyche. She was a great one for organising a trip for herself and others to many places around the globe. Her main travelling companion was her mum, Elsie. Together they visited relatives in far flung places, went on cruises, as well as crossed the Australian continent on planes, trains and buses. Her nieces and nephews were lucky enough to be treated to one of these trips to Central Australia.
As time passed and Marie had retired, the task fell upon her to become the carer for her mum. They lived in an apartment in Dryburgh St, North Melbourne. This was a great location, close to family members with plenty of support and general coming and going. Her niece Josie lived with her young family further along the street, and loved bringing her babies Ben and Sam to the “flat” to spend time with both Elsie and Marie. Marie and her mum enjoyed this time together until Elsie died in 1988.
Without Elsie, Marie adjusted quickly to living alone, and continued to enjoy life for many years, until she also needed care. Her granddaughter, Genevieve, stepped in with her support, and this enabled Marie to stay at Dryburgh Street until the age of 92. At this point, high care for Marie became necessary and she lived out her days contentedly in an aged care facility.
Contributor –Josie Walta, niece