KAREN Overington’s compassion for her Ballarat West constituents was so intense that she anonymously left groceries or paid bills for the most needy in her electorate, her children revealed yesterday.The former MP, who died on Thursday aged 59, undertook a lot of behind-the-scenes work while in parliament without asking for recognition, her son Brett Overington and daughter Shae Nelson said.“Most people didn’t know about how much Mum really did for the community. And she did it all without wanting any recognition,” Brett said.“Mum would often drop off groceries or pay bills for people without wanting them to know where the money came from.”Ms Overington, who was the first woman to serve the Ballarat electorate and was a former councillor on the Sebastopol Borough and Ballarat City councils, died peacefully at home on Thursday after a long illness.After serving Ballarat West since 1999, Ms Overington last year announced her retirement due to ill-health.Despite their mother being a busy politician and also helping to run the Overington’s trucking business, Brett and Shae said she always had time for her family.“She was just your typical mum,” said Brett. “She may have been in the council or in politics, but she attended every school concert, every parent/teacher interview and every sporting event. She fitted it all in.”Her children also helped their mother in her campaigns for council or state elections.“If we were needed to letter-drop during a council election campaign, we thought it was great, because we took time off school to do it,” Shae said. “I remember Mum being upset with us one day when we came back with a full bag of pamphlets for the Sebastopol elections. She thought we hadn’t done our job and were just slacking off. She was shocked to discover that they were actually her opponent’s pamphlets that we took. She wasn’t very happy.”Both Shae and Brett also have fond memories of family holidays with their parents.“Mum was one of those people who loved to take the road that led to a scenic lookout or an historic marker. I suppose she thought she might miss out on something,” Shae said.Hundreds of people, including former parliamentary and council colleagues, are expected to attend her funeral next Friday. The funeral will be held at the Doveton Park Funeral Centre, 1251 Doveton Street North, at 11am.