Geertruida 'Toni' Antonetta Maloney lived by her mother's motto that in life you have to be useful - and for everyone who knew her, she certainly was that.
A loving mother, doting 'Oma' and a loyal friend, Toni was farewelled recently after a long battle with lung cancer.
The 79-year-old left behind a lasting legacy in Northern Tasmanian, defined largely by her generosity, dedication to family and to a good cause. Most notably, her three-decade association with the Clifford Craig Foundation and its ongoing contribution to medical research at the Launceston General Hospital.
Toni was the organisation's first paid employee when it was established in 1992 - then known as the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust.
She was among a core group of people committed to ensuring innovative medical research in the state's North wasn't hindered by financial insecurity, and spent the early years travelling around the region garnering support for the worthwhile cause. Toni held the role of executive officer for three years until her retirement.
However, she continued her involvement with the foundation for close to 30 years through numerous support groups, including the Launceston Friends of Clifford Craig, where she served as president on numerous occasions, only stepping down from her role in 2018 due to illness.
Toni's generous spirit was among the many attributes shared at a funeral service on Wednesday, where friends and family paid tribute to a remarkable woman who gave everything her all.
Born in Holland on January 9, 1942, Toni's family fled to Indonesia after World War II before emigrating to Australia in 1950. Growing up in NSW, her professional life began in Canberra in public service and it was here that she married, and had two children.
Her second marriage to Gerard Maloney (dec), described as "the love of her life", also saw her embrace the role of stepmother to five children. Until her death, she remained a doting mother and Oma to a large extended family.
She remembered every birthday, every anniversary, celebrated every achievement and always met demand for her famous shortbread and Christmas puddings.
Described as a social butterfly, son Chris Hallam said his mum would and could talk to anyone, recalling memories of a cruise the family took in 2018.
"Mum had been diagnosed with cancer for about three years when we went on the cruise, but you wouldn't know she wasn't 100 per cent," he said.
"She must have met at least 50 people on that cruise, all of whom she remembered by name. She had an interest in whatever people wanted to talk about."
Similarly, daughter-in-law Jenny Scott recalled Toni's unconditional love for her family - particularly her grandchildren.
Describing a well organised, immaculately groomed, high profile lady whose diary was always filled with committee meetings, appointments, and any number of social activities, she said Toni learnt out of necessity how to "chill".
This included one particular family dinner where one of her grandsons thought it would be a good idea to sit down without a shirt on, sparking a debate on etiquette.
"As Oma became passionately engaged in her defence of upholding the traditional etiquettes of her day, with the offending grandson, one by one each of the other boys quietly slipped off their shirts and sat cheekily grinning at their grandmother," Jenny recalled.
"I quickly realised that Oma and I were on the losing team. So giving her a wink, I too stripped off my own top, much to lads dismay. Then everyone was looking at Oma.
"Well, 'if you can't beat them', she said. And the faces on my lads were absolutely priceless as she too stripped of her own top and all seven of us were sitting their topless.
"Needless to say we never had any trouble getting the lads to wear a shirt at the dinner table after that day."
In 2010, Toni and Gerard moved to Glenara Lakes retirement village where Toni remained until her death. The couple had been married for 40 years until Gerard's death in 2014.
Speaking to The Examiner in 2018 as she stepped away from her role as president of the Friends of Clifford Craig, Toni praised the importance of medical research, describing the foundation's contribution to Northern Tasmania as a major part of her life's work.
"I look on it like my baby, which I know is a bit presumptuous, because a lot of people really brought this to fruition," she said at the time.
Son Bob Hallam said his mother had made a lasting impression on many people throughout her life, and that she had fought her illness until the very end.
"Towards the end of her life, mum was diagnosed with a significant health issue, and although only initially given 18 to 24 months ... hung in there for a period of six years," he said.
"Mum made many friends throughout her life, and maybe not too many enemies.
"She'll be sorely missed by her friends and family, but thankfully she is no longer suffering."
In lieu of flowers, her funeral raised $1115 for the Clifford Craig Foundation.
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