A life lived well, ends well

An old style horse drawn hearse was the transport of choice for a funeral in Bendigo on Tuesday.

Family and friends celebrated the life of Mr Oliver (Ollie) Cowdery who lived in Bendigo for 42 years.

Mr Cowdery's son Gary Cowdery said his father was living across the road from Mulqueen Family Funeral Directors in Bridge Street when he saw a horse drawn hearse and wanted one for himself. 

"As soon as he saw it he loved it and he went over and paid for it for when he was ready," Gary Cowdery said.

The Cowdery family emigrated to Australia from England in search of a better life.

"We came to Australia because he couldn’t afford his own car, house or furniture in England. We had $20 between the five of us when we landed in 1972," Gary Cowdery said.

He said his father had lived an eclectic working life.

In Blackpool, England,  Ollie Cowdery had been a mechanic, spray painter, railway worker, wedding cake maker and had even run a couples dating service.

Later in Australia, he and wife Alma bought a small farm in Lockwood where he built the family home and became a handyman in the Bendigo area.

They later moved to Bridge Street opposite the Mulqueen Family Funeral Directors. 

Gary Cowdery said his father went overseas each year for the last five years to make sure he caught up with relatives and friends before he died. 

Ollie Cowdery is survived by his eight children, 18 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

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