When the friends and family of Judy Ivy Van Beelen gather at Mooloolaba to celebrate her life, they will remember a big hearted wife, mother, colleague, mentor and community member who loved to chat, to travel, and to help others to reach their potential.
Judy and her husband of 40-years, Charlie, spent the past 26 years of their married lives on the Sunshine Coast where they raised two sons, Scott (33) and Dean (30).
Most recently Judy worked at TAFE for nearly 15 years, helping students to gain qualifications in business administration.
She was also a popular member of the family business, Bli Bli Butchery, which they ran from 2005 to 2012. Charlie said Judy was at the shop whenever she could be to help serve customers and look after the books.
"Because her dad was hard of hearing, she knew how to speak clearly and precisely. Our older customers would come in and ask for her as 'she's the only one we can understand'," Charlie said.
After they sold the shop, in about 2012, Charlie and Judy set about travelling the world.
Charlie said Judy had a love of South-East Asia in particular, with their trips including Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. They had also explored Europe.
They'd come a long way since the couple first met on New Year's Day 1976 at the Wamuran Dance.
"I didn't make that good an impression that night, but one of my mates set up a second meeting…"
The second meeting went well, and from their first date at Strathpine Drive-In the couple were together until November 7 this year when Judy's three-year battle with stomach cancer came to an end. She was 62.
Charlie said Judy had been by his side in Sydney when he was working in the Navy and had endured the life of a serviceman's partner for many years as he went away on exercise or deployment for the Navy and, later, the Airforce.
He said she loved all things sport and grew up as a champion pony club rider - helped a little by the fact her Dad (the late Brian McCullough)had run a 200 acre farm and Mt Mee Pony Club for many years. Water skiing was another favourite past-time.
Growing up as one of Brian and her mother Ivy's three daughters, Judy spent a lot of time with her sisters Trish and Colleen and she had fond memories of moving in with her Aunty Nola for a while in Brisbane.
Charlie said Judy had demanded a celebration rather than a funeral and as a result, family and friends will gather at Mooloolaba Spit at 11am on November 29 to say goodbye with a barbecue or picnic event. For more details, please contact Charlie.