After her father died suddenly on 2 February 1950, when Shona was just 16, she left Tech and worked in the office at John Chambers Motors, a spare parts company in Hamilton. She enjoyed the job and was popular with her work-mates. Her brother Don remembers them coming to the Johnstone family home for social get-togethers.
|Mum and I, Boxing Day, 2006|
When Ron retired in 1982, he and Shona used his superannuation payout to buy their first house in Keppler Street, still in Ngaruawahia, though they later decided to move to Whangamata for a more relaxed way of life. They soon made friends in the local community, but Shona found the lifestyle too relaxed and missed her Ngaruawahia friends so, after about 18 months in Whangamata, they moved back to the Waikato, this time buying a house in Camden Place in Hamilton. A further move followed, to Sequoia Place, followed by yet another couple of years later, to 280 Te Rapa Road. Shona and Ron always took great pride in their homes, and their gardens were always a picture. Gardening was one of Shona’s great passions, and her blooming gardens and healthy pot plants were a testament to her green fingers.
In 1996 Shona battled another health crisis when a malignant tumour was discovered on her right kidney. The cancer – and the kidney – were removed, though it took many months of continuing treatment to finally eradicate the problem. Then, just after Christmas 2001, Ron was diagnosed with lung cancer. After being told on New Year’s Eve that the disease was untreatable, Shona took her beloved Ron home and nursed him for the three short weeks he had left. She lost the love of her life on 22 January 2002.
A highlight of Shona’s last years was the arrival of a granddaughter, born to her son and his partner. Shona had abandoned hope of ever having grandchildren, so Alisha’s birth and subsequent family visits were a source of great happiness to her.
In March 2008 Shona was admitted to
where, after a week of tests, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. Though three types of treatment were administered, sadly none proved successful and on 6 April 2008 Shona slipped peacefully away. Waikato Hospital
Today, as on every single day since she passed away, I remember my darling mum. I miss her more than I can say.