Leonie Jean Studdy passed away on December 21, 2016. Leonie was the third daughter of Harry Raymond and Barbara Carter of “Amaroo”, Quirindi, born on March 1, 1941 at the Shirley Cottage Hospital, Quirindi.
Leonie was born at a time when her father was largely absent serving in the RAAF Reserve during World War II and the family resided with their maternal grandmother, Mildred Davies at “Yarrandi”, Scone.
In 1945, Ray was released from active duty and the family returned to “Amaroo”.
Leonie was educated by her mother through the Blackfriars Correspondence School to the end of 5th Class and then went to board at New England Girls’ School, Armidale for five years from 1953 to 1957 where she made life long friends.
Leonie did not stay for the Leaving Certificate but passed an entrance exam to nursing and was awarded prizes for three of her five years at the School.
On leaving school Leonie joined in with her two older sisters, Anne and Elsie, in working with their parents in running “Amaroo”.
She and her siblings owned assorted horses and ponies and spent happy days mustering stock, moving irrigation pipes, and chipping burrs, cooking and home making.
The three sisters enjoyed playing tennis at a Club in Quirindi, went to polo at Bundella and Quirindi and various Bachelor and Spinster Balls.
In 1959, her intention to study nursing was interrupted by a fateful meeting while staying with her friend Virginia Nicholls for a tennis party.
Tom Studdy, a man at 6’1”with big blue eyes, golden hair and a wide smile caught her attention. After a year’s courtship, Tom and Leonie were married on 14th October, 1960 at St Alban’s Church, Quirindi.
They settled down to married life running the property “Kareela” at Mary’s Mount as Tom’s parents eagerly departed to the coast for retirement.
A daughter, Joanne arrived in 1962, a son Gordon in 1963 and another son, Simon in 1967.
In 1977, the Studdy family moved from Mary’s Mount to a smaller property, two kilometres north of Gunnedah.
The name “Kareela” was transferred and Leonie and Tom established an irrigation and cattle raising venture.
During this time Leonie supported Tom with his interest in the National Party and the executive roles he held always with the view of improving outcomes for country people.
Leonie was very much the farmer’s wife, ensuring the men were fed and clean clothes and house keeping was maintained.
She was an active participant in the calf and weaner business, nurturing poddy calves brought in from the Hunter Valley and selling them on to local buyers.
Tom’s premature death in 1992 at the young age of 54 was devastating for Leonie and the family. However, this allowed her an independence and freedom of decision making that she had never previously experienced in her life.
Her strength of character shone through and with the support of her son, Simon, she ran the property “Kareela” until her retirement in 2006.
In the 1990s Leonie was a driving force in the Gunnible Landcare Group ensuring the successful native revegetation of this area on the Wean Road, on the north side of the Namoi River.
During this time she also held the role of director of the McAuley Aged Care Facility, Gunnedah.
Leonie was the inaugural president of the Gunnedah Probus Club in 2001, giving it strength in its formative years. She also held the role of President again in 2009 and today the membership has exceeded 100.
Leonie became an enthusiastic member of the Gunnedah Bridge Club, was elected treasurer for two years and was listed as one of the top 50 most improved players for 2016.
She also loved joining in with the Sing Australia group each week and once a month, a local sewing group with special friends. She was especially skillful in knitting and producing exceptional jams, in particular marmalade.
Her interests varied and she developed a fascination of native birds, enjoyed the garden and her knowledge of stock and love of cattle, learned through experience, was a useful source for her children who all run herds of varying sizes today.
She was an avid listener of the ABC Regional Radio and a keen spectator of cricket, tennis, horse racing and golf.
Leonie was a retiring personality who avoided promoting herself or her achievements. She was a self-confident person with a great strength of character and constancy in this rapidly changing world.
She has left a rich legacy in her family that carries through to all children and grandchildren. She possessed a beautiful spirit that transcended her role of daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and grandmother.
Her love was beyond words, a love that endures outside her mortal life.
Leonie’s elder sibling, the late Patricia Anne, married to Peter Goddard, predeceased her in 1979.
Leonie is survived by her three children, Joanne married to Archie Campbell with children, Jock and Anna. Gordon married to Patricia Armitage and three children, Tristan, Jerome and Gabrielle and Simon married to Heather Fenley and father to Courtney, Tommi, Jaimie and Sasha.
Leonie is also survived by her sister Elsie Barbara married to Peter Ritchie and brother, Anthony Gilbert Carter married to Mary Christina Moulton-Jones.