Ian joined the Navy at 17 years of age. Eight months later, having just turned 18, Ian received notification that his father Bart in his 40’s had suffered a fatal heart attack. He obviously sensed something was amiss and managed to reach the local country Doctor's residence. It was one of the few times the Doctor had gone away for the weekend and with no-one available, Ian's father sadly passed away, alone on the doctor's doorstep. He had been an extremely hard working man, passing his work ethics on to Ian. A motor mechanic by day then continuing to work on their small 8 acre farm with livestock and crops the remainder of the time, he almost never stopped. When Ian heard the news he was in severe shock and disbelief. Not knowing what to think, he returned home to attend the Funeral Service, overwhelmed with grief and confusion.
Ian kept himself occupied with his duties in the Navy, learning an electrical trade and then one day whilst overseas, purchased a professional Minolta Camera. This would hold him in good stead for professional work many years later as he had an avid enthusiasm and keen eye for photography. After leaving the Navy he was involved various trades work including motorcycle mechanics, facia and gutter installation. It was many years later he picked up further with his photography, being the appointed Photographer for Sports events, Pet Photography, School Photography and Dance groups which then lead to Wedding Photography. To date Ian uses these skills in the Funeral Industry designing beautiful, individually created Service Sheets and fully edited Reflection of Memories to music, which many people comment on.
Over the years conversation often arose of the sudden loss of his father, the missed opportunity of words that were never spoken, feelings never shared, a lot of things in their relationship never explained and the loss and regret felt. Ian became involved in many voluntary organisations and gave of his time and often finances willingly. At one time he felt compelled to reach out to assist some local battlers deciding to treat them to a free, generous sized takeaway meal each Friday night. So for a period of 2-3 years, he and a small team including Scouts groups, would arrive and set up to start cooking - giving away home cooked burgers, sausages, bacon and egg with all the trimmings. This was organised and paid for himself and was happy to do so as their ‘thanks’ was reward enough. Ian would have liked it to continue much longer, but in life things don't always go to plan and with a new introduction of Insurance Cover for voluntary events, it was no longer viable.
From his desire to help people and having an intrinsic gentle and kind nature, a door opened for him to become a Funeral Celebrant. In this role, he was involved with most Funeral Companies across North and South Brisbane. His days in the Navy were a solid foundation for discipline, efficiency and good timekeeping. Being well regarded and respected by several Funeral Organisations and with families thanking him whole-heartedly, his role extended to one of a Funeral Director. Never one for sitting behind a desk all day, Ian has always fully interacted with his families, visiting them when and where needed; going above and beyond to help them. In 2011 Ian opened Horizon Funerals based in Caboolture. Having no Commercial Funeral Offices in Caboolture, it was the perfect opportunity to provide an excellent professional, service without residents having to travel far and to this day they have remained the only Commercial Funeral office in Caboolture. In 2016 Ian was able to open another office to serve Bribie and surrounding areas residents. Ian is often thanked for his kind yet professional, gentle manner when looking after families and in the way he brings together the beautiful, meaningful Funeral Services that families had asked for. Their expectations are not only fulfilled, they are often exceeded.
Carol spent a year training in Secretarial and Administration Studies after high school, which lead into a world in the Corporate arena. Although young, she was skilled with a pleasant yet professional manner, accurate in her work and well respected by Management, colleagues and clients.
At 18 years of age, her grandfather passed away in hospital with Carol and the family by his side. His stoic Scottish widowed sister lived a brisk 10 minute walk from Carol’s workplace. In her lunchbreak, Carol would often take a shared lunch and visit her. On one occasion, her Aunt was still in bed at lunchtime, which was completely out of character. Looking around the room, it was obvious she was no longer able to care for herself or her home and after years of saying 'no'; she finally agreed to move into a nursing home. She sadly passed many months later, with Carol and her mum by her side. Losing all of her grandparents before 19 years of age was confronting as she had hoped for more time with them.
Along with Ian, Carol has a very kind and compassionate heart. While her young family was growing, Carol volunteered with community garage sales, Red Cross in the Redcliffe Hospital and Meals on Wheels. As the family left the nest, she re-entered the Corporate world as a mature aged worker, now with life experience as well as sound administration skills. As a stable worker with a pleasant manner and reputation as one who was organised and could be trusted and relied upon to complete a task well she was promoted to work with Executive Management.
Each weekend, Carol would catch up with her mother in her mid 80’s, a very spritely immaculately groomed lady with a sharp mind living nearby to Carol in an over 50's Village. After some annual leave, Carol noticed her mum's appearance seemed to be a little more frail than she had realised so she decided to resign her full time employment in order to dedicate having some quality, relaxed time with her. In the months to follow, Carol spent time between her mother along with assisting occasionally with Ian’s work.
Carol and her mum became as thick as thieves and ‘best friends’. Making good use of their time together they travelled had lunch out regularly and generally enjoyed quality of life. Mum and Carol often took their two little dogs for a walk. Her Mum had bundles of energy for an 80+ year old and they both thought this would continue for several more years, but after walking the dogs one day, they discussed something amiss with her mums health. Soon after, her mum was admitted to hospital for a few weeks. She was becoming distressed being in hospital, her appetite reduced to that of a sparrow and the outcome was not looking good. The medical staff allowed her to return home. (On a side-note, the family cannot thank the medical team enough for their wonderful care).
Climbing out of the car, her mum was thrilled to be back in her own little home and Carol moved in with her not knowing how long this would be for. Her mind was still sharp, but her body was becoming extremely more weak and frail. It was becoming obvious where this was heading. There were difficult, honest conversations, thanks and appreciation given and loads of tears. Family visited. Her mum's health deteriorated further, in so much as Carol learnt to become a hands-on nurse in every way. With great sadness, her mum passed away peacefully with Carol and Ian by her side. It was the saddest time. One day she was here, 7 weeks later – gone.
Since her mother’s passing, Carol has become further involved with Horizon. With training as a Funeral Arranger Carol has assisted several families in their time of loss and grief. When she isn’t at a Funeral Service, she is mostly found at the Benabrow Ave office at Bribie Island. She is often thanked for her warmth, kindness, care and professionalism. A comment from families is often ‘you made this so easy for us’.
It may not be by chance you have come to this page today. You too may be facing a very sad time now with difficult decisions to make. Ian and Carol are not ‘business or profit focused’. Their focus is to provide a beautiful, meaningful service, knowing that your loved one has had the best send off they could have. They genuinely care, listen to and hear you. Their compassion and care comes from a place of true understanding having experienced their own grief and sudden loss. They know how it feels on both sides having to face the loss of someone close and say a very difficult farewell. Ian, Carol and their team will treat your loved one and your family with gentleness, care and respect and will provide a Professional yet meaningful, comforting and beautiful service; that working together with you will make a memory, you will cherish forever.
When you choose Horizon to serve your family, the set office hours cease as they become your own personal, dedicated arrangers that you can phone, email or txt anytime day or night; there to support you every step of the way.
Ian and Carol Brownlie