22.11.1934 – 2.2.2024
Loved husband of Joanna (dec).
Adored dad and father-in-law of Michael & Kathy, Jane, Kerrie & Murray, Tom & Jayne.
Cherished grandpa of Sofie, Zoe, Hanna, Zac, Jay, Liam, Emily, Isabelle, Harry, Lena, Pippa, and Marni.
Family and friends are invited to the funeral prayers for Keith to be held at
St Peter’s Catholic Church, 13 Duke Street Daylesford,
on Tuesday 13th February 2024 commencing at 2pm.
Keith is to be privately cremated.
Due to unfortunate circumstance of the power outage- please find attached copies below of the Eulogies for those who were unable to hear.
And you can watch the slideshow also by clicking on the arrow on the Black and White Photo.
I find it can be quite inspiring when reflecting on people life at funerals. And I’ve been to a couple of inspirational ones over the past few years.
My uncle (and brother) John and my mum.
John’s life of amazing adventure that took him all over the world. Travelling through Europe and the Middle East, into inaccessible areas in the Pakistan boarder. I had no idea how much he had done until then, but I was seriously impressed. Some incredible photos and stories.
And summed up with a great comment from one of his grandsons.
“Pop, was a loose unit”What a ringing endorsement.Still makes me smile.
And Mum. - She spent her life looking after people.She was the most caring and warm soul I’ve ever known.Her coffin alone was an amazing farewell book,scribbled and written on by anyone wanted to leave her a message.
So when it came to dads Eulogy, the pressure was on.
Dad was a teacher and a mentor.
And you need look no further than his own 4 children to realise he was a dismal failure.
How am I going so far?
But as they say, a painters house is always the one that needs a lick of paint,
dad did his best work outside the home.
Dad began his career at the school of hard knocks.Turana detention centre for boys.That's where met a young nurse who he wooed and became his wife.
We used to love telling people he met mum in jail.
Then began postings at a string of schools in Bendigo, Syndal, Bell, before serving his second term inside, this time at pentridge.Here he used his kids as guinea pigs.
As babies, handing us to murderers for a hold,
just to prove he was doing a good job with the rehabilitation.
We survived so he mustn't have been doing something right.
We moved to Diamond creek where he become principal of a school in Doreen.
Mind you,it only had one teacher, so he was principal, teacher and he also took the bins out.
He then moved to Forkner East primary. Again as principal.I remember that one, because that’s where I watched Niel Armstrong walk on the moon.
Then to Ballarat as District inspector of schools and acting regional director before taking up the role of the newly created Institute of Educational Administration in Geelong.
Dad retired at the ripe old age of 53 and to Blampied where he spent the next 30 odd years.
But even in retirement he couldn't give up teaching completely.Among other things, he became as guest lecturer at the Australian Catholic University in Ballarat and in Hong Kong.
Also the girls rowing coach at Ballarat High school.Dad loved rowing at school and I think that coaching the girls in Ballarat was one of the highlights of his career. He loved it.
Dads other favourite sport was playing provocateur.
If there was a side of the fence to sit on, you can bet dad would be on the other side. He enjoyed nothing more than a bit of fiery discussion around the dinner table.I asked him once, why he was always so argumentative.He said, well, if we agreed on everything it’d make for some very boring conversation.
So we debated everything.There was only exception - religion.That wasn’t up for debate.He was a fierce catholic,I hope all those years of devotion are paying off for him now.
In Blampied Dad and mum found not only some incredible neighbours but also a local catholic community which they loved dearly.
My father had a profound influence on my life. He taught me so much.None of it academic.No, much more important than that.
He taught me about respect and honor.About the importance of pursuing what you are passionate about. He taught me about planning ahead, balance and determination. These weren’t abstract things to dad, he lead by example.
Dad did everything he wanted in life. He didn’t miss out on anything.
He was diagnosed with alzhiemers over 10 years ago, a cruel disease that slowly took away the one thing that was his greatest asset - his mind.
But dad remained defiant till the end, and didn’t miss out on anything.
SEE SLIDE BELOW....
This picture was taken a month before he died.After travelling 10 hours in the car to enjoy a few days with us in Kangaroo Valley, we went to NYE at our neighbours where he enjoyed a good party and a dance.
And his mind remained defiant to the endeven though the Alzhiemers played havoc on his memory and thought processes.
My favourite quote in his last dayswas my after my sister Kerrie spotted dad, tired, as he sat at the dinner table. she said “dad you look exhausted, why don’t you go and sit in the couch”
Dads reply - “ I don’t have to, I’m in the RACV.
Dad we love you,we’ll miss you,Thank you for all your wisdom and guidance.
Keith Andrews, by Kerrie Curtis 13 February 2024
I want to just briefly speak about Dad.
Growing up in the 70’s and early 80’s, the father was the bread winner, they worked, and
weren’t home a huge amount of time. And Dad being the ultimate academic and educator, I was always greeted with ‘where did the other 5% go?” when I told him if I ever got 95% on a test or assignment.
After Mum died, which is 7.5 years now, and that was hard, as Mum was my soul mate - is when Isabelle and I looked after Dad in earnest. He was still in Blampied. There were loads of phone calls to say hello, and what are you up to?
My car knew where I was heading, and I think instinctively took me up the Western Hwy on the many, many trips to spend weekends with Dad
- to spend time with him, chat, and bring him up to date with all the family news, and more to the point to check he was behaving himself.
Dad viewed nursing homes like they were Pentridge – a jail, and no place anyone would want to live. And I really couldn’t handle doing that to him. So, when life was getting a bit tough, as Dad had Alzheimer’s, over 2 1/2 years ago he came with Isabelle, to live with Murray and in NNGN.
A house in the trees, where he had his own space but was living with his family - who took care of him around the clock.
I am not going to lie and make it sound all rosey.
It was challenging, and it got really hard in the end.
My nursing skills were certainly useful. But I was really blessed to look after Dad these last couple of years. We shared so many wonderful times I will forever hold dear.
We went on many escapades to nurseries all over the district, always of course including afternoon tea with a coﬀee and chocolate éclair or some other cake, or simply on an errand or a drive in the Rodeo for a drive in the country.
Then came the stories, of going to Gembrook on the train as a teenager with Nan and Pop. And his brother John and his childhood in Camberwell, and his school times at Xavier College.
The fun times started when Dad lost the filter on his mouth. He certainly pushed the social boundaries, but they are also the times I will never forget. He told me how proud he was of me,how much he loved me. How his family meant the world to him. He spoke with such love and aﬀection of Michael, Jane and Tom and all of his grandchildren. Pippa and Marni were the shining lights in his later life.
You have no idea, how many times he asked me what you were all up to!!!
We enjoyed our trips to KV to visit Michael and Kathy, it was a real highlight for him.
I got to hear about how much the trees had grown and about how his family came from Beechworth - for the whole 10 hour drive. Our last trip was just a month and a half before he died, for New Years -when he danced with Robyn, a friend of Michael and Kathys and had an absolute ball.
And just a couple of short months later, we said goodbye. It was so quick but also a blessing. And so hard. Thanks, Mike, for being there to help me through it. Isabelle and I cried and hugged each other, saying we were so glad we were able to fulfil his wish and look after him at home.
I miss you so much already Dad. I loved the special time we spent together.
Rest in peace now
and say hello to Mum for me. Kerrie xo
The poem for Keith by Kathy Andrews
A big strong man with a gentle heart.
Our charismatic patriarch.
With wisdom and intellect,
debates for hours.
with captivating powers.
A bigger confidence you could not find.
to share his mind.
A guiding force,
held close and near.
A father and grandfather,
we hold so dear.
As the world changed and started to sway,
the heart remained…….
while the words began to fray.
Deep in thought,……
glimpses of life as it should be.
The memories made,
started to fade.
It was time to go back
to where words flowed freely
and the challenges of life….
were just another trophy
We will miss the conversations,
and until we are able,
hold a place in your heart
and a seat at your table.