MAGGI Jean was born and educated in Melbourne and awarded a PhD in biochemistry from Monash University.
She was the first of her family to complete tertiary education and she spent many early holidays in Torquay with her parents Jean and Osborne Vary, and her siblings Don, Pamela and Ruth.
Maggi built a house on 10 acres in Jan Juc in the 1970s with her husband Brian Lowdon where she brought up Tabitha, Carlo and Pippi.
She later moved to Anglesea where she spent the remainder of her life.
She had seven grandchildren who were given many crawling races and art lessons.
Maggi travelled extensively, both within Australia and overseas. She was very curious to learn about new (particularly Indigenous) cultures, art, pottery, hand crafts, gorges, canyons, beaches, forests and flowers.
Maggi was a valued member of many communities throughout her life and in her final years in Anglesea she enjoyed coffee groups, book groups, scrabble groups, walking groups, fitness groups, Angair, The Arthouse and Anglesea Community Garden.
Many will remember her small gallery (Muddy’s She Shed), made in one of the original Anglesea boathouses, where she displayed her pottery, printmaking and hand-made books during the Surf Coast Arts Trail.
Maggi was a great friend to many – known for her thoughtful ability to listen and her quiet nature. She was a woman of depth.
Thirty years ago, Maggi miraculously healed her body from a rare type of cancer using both chemotherapy, meditation and diet.
She gave a keynote paper with her thoughts on the experience at a medical conference in Fiji and inspired many doctors to alter the way they communicated with their patients.
She went on to train with Ian Gawler in cancer support and also spent many years giving emotional and spiritual support to people who had cancer on behalf of the Cancer Council.
Maggi loved the wave shapes in the mountains and the ocean, and both featured in her art.
She was a gentle person, generous of spirit, who spent many years perfecting the qualities of acceptance, forgiveness and surrender.
She was highly intelligent, deeply contemplative and an inspiring learner and teacher.
Maggi had wonderful fun and was a beautiful dancer, body boarder and snow skier.
She was appreciated for her wit, and her skill with words. She spent much time camping, walking in natural places and was astounded at the beauty of nature.
Maggi, who passed on December 21, 2020, will be lovingly remembered as a gardener, a reader, a potter and a scientist.
She has left the world a better place and those cherished parts of her character will live on in those she touched.