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The day that Libby died

Ingrid at 65
Keith, Ingrid and Libby - we shared many good times and, with Libby coming from a family of restaurateurs, many good lunches


NOOSA - Ingrid’s mum Libby died early this afternoon.

Libby was 94, a venerable age, and had been in pretty good health until a fall,  two broken vertebrae and great pain compromised that about three weeks ago.

She was born in Prague in 1925, where her parents owned restaurants and lived a reasonably comfortable life until the Communists took over Czechoslovakia after World War II.

Her marriage to Henry, 20 years her senior, was arranged and Libby pulled some smart tricks to escape the Czech bureaucracy and flee to Tasmania to marry him.

Henry himself, being half Jewish, had an ugly war. His father and that side of the family were interned by the Germans to disappear forever. We know that his father was murdered in Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Henry ended up in a labour ‘camp’.

After the war, Henry, a mathematics professor, found himself proscribed by the Czechs because of his German heritage (he'd been born in Prague of German parents). For several years unable to find work in his field of expertise, he finally found a post with the University of Tasmania and left his Czechoslovak homeland forever.

Libby joined Henry in Hobart, where they wed in 1949, Ingrid being born three years later.

When Henry was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Alberta, Libby and the family moved to Canada. She came back to Australia to be near Ingrid after Henry died.

Libby was a strong and determined woman who thought little of those Czechs who caved in to Nazism and Communism; so little that she never deigned to return to the land of her birth.

I always got on well with Libby and we particularly enjoyed this time of year when I would ceremonially present her with an art diary for the year to come which she would meticulously notate almost on the spot.

The 2020 diary sits on my desk now. Never presented.

We will miss Libby, the last of her generation in our family. Ingrid will miss their conversations in Czech and Ben will miss the regular grandmother-grandson lunches.

And I’ll miss this straight talking matriarch who appreciated life’s good things, who was always grateful for the little things and who had shown her mettle as a 24 year old by escaping tyranny to find a better life for herself and the family she would build.

So at this moment we grieve for Libby, who lived a good life and a full one.


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William Dunlop

My sincere condolences on Libby's passing.

Bill and Pamela Brown

Dear Ingrid and Keith - Our deepest sympathies to Ingrid and you. It would be a heart rending loss at any time but especially so now.

Fr Garrett Roche SVD

Sorry for the grief caused by the passing of Libby. At the same time I am sure from what you told us that Libby had a life that, despite the hardships, was a life worth celebrating. May Libby rest in peace.

Philip Kai Morre

Libby is full of love, wisdom and intuitive knowledge. Such a wonderful old woman who left her own country to find peace and happiness.

Condolence to Ben, Ingrid and Keith at this time of sorrow. God grand Her eternal peace and the angels in Heaven welcome her.

Robert L Parer CMG MBE

Oh so beautifully said Keith.Our thoughts and prayers are with you Ingrid and Keith.
WOW what an amazing life lived to the full in so many ways - good and bad.
Love from Meg and Rob.

Joe Herman

Ingrid, Keith and Ben, so sorry about your loss.

Ian and Belinda McLean

Libby will be missed. She was always a joy at a social event and so pleasant to everyone. We will always remember her with fondness.

Bernard Corden

Dear Keith - It's been quite a tough year for you. Please accept my condolences, Libby must have been quite a wonderful lady.

"Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently" - Rosa Luxemburg

Lindsay F Bond

Grieve not alone, for the courage of Libby engenders admiration.

Michael Dom

Ingrid, Keith and Ben, I am so sorry for your loss.

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