Family loses two dads in 5 days
IT was the week that no family should have to endure.
After 79-year-old Henry Farlow suffered a major stroke at his Norville home on Thursday, October 29, his loving family rushed to Bundaberg to be by his side.
While in town, Mr Farlow’s son-in-law Michael Baker, 60, decided to visit some friends, but was tragically killed in a two-car crash on Rosedale Road the following night.
Mr Farlow lost his fight for life in hospital five days later, on Wednesday, November 4, just shy of his 80th birthday.
Now the family is pulling together in an effort to cope with the shock of losing two much-loved members within a week, and have spoken for the first time of their heartbreak.
“They’ve always been there for me,” Mr Farlow’s wife, Dawn, said of her family.
“We’re a close-knit family with no big dramas between us, and we will be until we’re all gone.”
Mr Farlow’s four children, Judy, Sharon, Christine and David, and their families, all gathered at Bundaberg for his funeral on Wednesday and celebrated his colourful life.
“It was a lovely day, a beautiful service,” daughter Sharon Pollock said.
The rugby league and fishing fan, born in Rockhampton, would have been proud to hear Simply The Best at the ceremony, while Neverending Love and One Day at a Time also made the playlist.
After 58 years of marriage, Mrs Farlow said she had many memories of her beloved husband, who she married after a short courtship when she was 18.
“I had a wonderful husband. He always looked after me,” she said.
Just a few days before, the family had gathered to pay tribute to Mr Baker, whose funeral service was held at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Baker’s wife, Christine, said she had had the support of her family and “wonderful friends” as she tried to cope with losing two of the most important men in her life.
She said her husband had turned 60 not long before the accident, and his death was a terrible shock, but that his love of life made every day count.
“His ceremony was a fabulous celebration of his life, just the way he wanted it,” she said.
“He was just a person who lived for today – because you don’t know what’s around the corner – and that’s how he lived his life.”
Mr Farlow, a former station master for the railway, moved his family all over Queensland but ended up at Bundaberg soon after he retired, almost 20 years ago, to be closer to his wife’s large family here.
“I wanted to come home. I’ve always considered Bundaberg home,” she said.
With 10 brothers and sisters living at Bundaberg, Mrs Farlow said she appreciated their support through the tough time.
One of her sisters is set to move in and her neighbours, the Johnstons, are close by for a cup of tea.
The NewsMail reported the swift actions of Johnston siblings Brodie, 13, and Abby, 11, who came to Mr Farlow’s aid when he had the stroke in his front yard.
The children and their mother, Wendy, have since talked to the Farlow family, saying they had been brought closer after the tragedy.