Born: June 14, 1949
Died: January 10, 2013
CHRISTINE Tynan will be remembered as a proud mother and ‘‘Grandii’’ – a devoted and beloved wife and the life of any party.
Mrs Tynan was born in 1949 to Mayfield parents George and Kathleen Player.
She was one of the pair’s two daughters and has maintained a strong bond with sister Carol tempered by an incident in their youth.
During a battle over an old-fashioned lawn clipper, Mrs Tynan refused to move her hand despite threats her sister would cut off a finger with the implement unless it was moved.
But both stuck to their guns, leaving Mrs Tynan with a temporarily shortened finger and a story that lasted a lifetime.
Particularly fond of her father, a Changi survivor and competitive cyclist, Mrs Tynan treasured a bicycle he built for her from timber.
She also maintained a close bond with her mother, who she visited throughout her later years in a Newcastle nursing home.
During those visits, as she did her mother’s hair and make-up, Mrs Tynan would also befriend other residents within the home. These relationships were borne out of her genuine interest and care for the welfare of others.
‘‘That was true to mum’s character – if someone would sit still long enough she could start a conversation and know their life story in five minutes,’’ son Scott said.
Christine loved to listen to the stories of others rather than speak about herself. She felt it was impolite to speak about herself and that the best way to get to know someone is to listen and engage them in conversation.
A love of ice-skating eventually united Mrs Tynan with her husband Dennis, the first of many passions the pair would share in 44 years together.
They met at the Newcastle West rink in 1966 as Mrs Tynan visited with friends and where Mr Tynan was an instructor and ice hockey player.
The pair, who also shared a lifelong love of motorsports and cars, married two years later.
Mrs Tynan raced lap sprints in her youth, but both pushed their love of motorsports to the backburner as they began a family, raising children Scott and Nicole.
Replacing their high-octane passion, which they maintained at a simmer, allowed them to create a childhood both their children remember as among the best days of their lives.
The family spent weekends at Fingal Bay as well as travelling to Queensland’s Gold Coast and the Snowy Mountains each year alongside countless other camping trips.
A house-proud family woman, Mrs Tynan would meticulously build a table setting for each Christmas to a theme she selected in January.
The elaborate table settings became a highlight in more than 30 years of Christmas celebrations at her North Lambton home, with her grandchildren looking forward to those displays as much as their presents.
But while she was a tireless host, Mrs Tynan preferred to play that role to mark someone else’s honour than mark her own occasions, including birthdays.
As her children grew and brought grandchildren into her life, Mrs Tynan maintained a close relationship in spite of distance.
She spoke with Scott in Queensland regularly while her relationship with Nicole was akin to being best friends.
After their children flew the nest in the late 1980s, Mrs Tynan found an avenue to indulge her passion for people that has left her and Mr Tynan with a broad network of friends.
As Mr Tynan took up a committee position with the MG Car Club Newcastle, she supported him and became an unofficial social co-ordinator for the club’s regular gatherings.
Mr Tynan said it was during those years that his wife, also known to many as ‘‘The Princess’’, thrived in the spotlight
She developed lasting bonds as she cooked for and entertained hundreds, he said.
‘‘As long as she had lots of people around her and family she was happy,’’ Mr Tynan said of his wife. ‘‘She was just a lovely person who loved people.’’
During her later years Mrs Tynan and her husband travelled extensively, visiting destinations including America, Europe and Asia. But regular family picnics at Lake Macquarie, as well as frequent jaunts to Sydney for shopping and people-watching, remained among her favourite holiday spots.
Mrs Tynan also chose a unique title for herself as she became a doting grandmother, going by Grandii and insisting it was spelled with two i’s.
She died on January 10 this year, less than a fortnight after Mr Tynan suffered a heart attack during a trip to Sydney.
She is survived by her husband Dennis, children Scott and Nicole and grandchildren Zach, Sophie, Sarah, James and Ruby.
Christine Tynan is fondly remembered as a vibrant, family woman who focused on bringing fun to everyone.