THE Warrnambool community is mourning the death of stalwart volunteer and health professional Carolyn Claridge.
Mrs Claridge, 56, died on Sunday surrounded by her family.
Well regarded in the south-west as a co-founder of community radio station 3WAY FM, Mrs Claridge was also a nurse and helped set up the health service at Warrnambool’s Deakin University campus.
She grew up on the family farm at Gringegalgona, near Balmoral, with her five brothers.
She always wanted to be a nurse to give back to the community.
After a stint nursing in Hamilton she moved to Melbourne and nursed at the Mercy Hospital and St Vincent’s before going overseas.
She settled in Warrnambool in 1983 and worked at the Warrnambool Base Hospital as a midwife for six months and moved into the theatre unit before having her son Julian.
After his birth she went to work at Deakin as the campus nurse and later moved to the Port Fairy Hospital.
3WAY FM president Peter Struth remembered Mrs Claridge as a lady who was full of enthusiasm.
“She’s always on top,” he said. “She had a bubbly personality and never held back.”
Mr Struth said Mrs Claridge was a go-getter who always helped out.
“If something had to be done she would always be at the forefront to do it. It was boots and all.”
Mrs Claridge also volunteered at South Rovers Football Club on the ladies’ committee as well as keeping herself busy helping out at Warrnambool Food Share.
“She meant a lot of things to a lot of people, whether it be nursing, volunteering at 3WAY FM or at South Rovers,” Mr Struth said.
“She will be sorely missed by a lot of people.”
Mrs Claridge was diagnosed with cancer in November 2012.
She is survived by her two children Julian and Missy and husband Chris.