Bobbie’s greatest legacy

The inspiration of a wife and mother gives a family strength to carry on
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GREAT LOVE: Bobbie Brown feeding the giraffes at Werribee Zoo. Her daughter Michaela, who has inherited that passion, was working at the zoo and organised a special trip for Bobbie and Peter to get up close and personal with the animals.

ROBERTA ‘Bobbie’ Brown’s presence looms large in the family household as her husband Peter and children Roxanne, Michaela and James come to terms with her tragic passing.

Bobbie died on Monday after being hit by a truck while walking her beloved dog Milo while crossing Ryley Street at about 8am, just a short distance from the family home in Warby Street.

Peter was working in Myrrhee when he received the devastating news and rushed back to Wangaratta.

Michaela and Roxanne, who live in Melbourne, and James, who was on a job in Shepparton, came home as soon as they received the news to be with the family.

“It’s just not fair,” Peter said.

“Bobbie always did the right thing.

“She always had a smile on her face, she was so generous.”

The couple’s romance began 30 years ago when Peter first met her when she was working at the Pinsent Hotel.

“She was wearing a Ken Done scarf and bright red lipstick,” Peter said.

“It clicked between us without trying.

“It was just so natural.

“We got on so well, it was just fate and we were married 18 months later.”

TOGETHER ALWAYS: Peter and Bobbie Brown in New York last year.

The family was due to take the annual trip to Lake Hume next month for the annual reunion with Bobbie’s bridesmaids and their respective families, a trip that has taken place every year for 25 years.

Bobbie’s life revolved around her family and friends and her love of cooking and socialising meant that the door was always open; a trait that the children also inherited.

“Mum had us organised before we even knew we had to be,” Roxanne said.

“She put everyone before herself.

“If someone came here to stay Mum would get up early to cook them breakfast.

“All of our friends loved the Brown house.”

Bobbie also believed in good manners and respect for others, another trait instilled into her children.

“Mum always taught us to be proper,” James said.

“We must always do the right thing and never swear.

“And most of all to love each other and everyone you’re with.”

TOGETHER: The close-knit Brown family (from left) James, Roxanne, Bobbie, Peter and (front) Michaela with James’ dog Ralph.
PHOTOS supplied by the Brown family

It’s not surprising then at the family’s darkest hour, they have been inundated with support from their large circle of family and friends, literally hundreds of people, returning the love and generosity Bobbie had displayed as a matter of course her entire life.

“Thank you so much to everyone, especially for the food and the flowers, that’s two things Mum did so well,” Michaela said.

Peter particularly wanted to thank his brothers-in-law, Bobbie’s brothers Lachie and Wayne, for their support.

“We can’t say how much Lachie (Gales) has done for us while grieving for the loss of his sister, and how important that has been,” he said.

Bobbie loved animals and was famous for bringing stray dogs home and the family found comfort that Milo, a German short-haired pointer, has survived the accident.

“He’s now an inside dog and keeping me company,” Peter said.

“A family friend turned up at the accident and took Milo, who was in real distress, to the Warby Street Vet Clinic.

“We appreciate everything they did to save Milo.”

Bobbie Brown’s funeral will be held at Wangaratta Christian Fellowship in Mason Street at 10am on Monday.

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