The Ballarat community is celebrating the life of Patricia Anderson JP after she died in hospital on Tuesday.
Mrs Anderson is well-known in Ballarat for her work as a marriage celebrant, funeral celebrant and naming ceremony officiant.
Her family estimates she has conducted more than 4000 marriage ceremonies, at least 4000 naming ceremonies and a significant number of funerals in her later years.
Mrs Anderson was also appointed a Justice of the Peace.
She is survived by husband Keith Anderson, daughter Julie, step-children Robert, Jenny, Peter and Ann-Maree and 13 grand-children.
Did Mrs Anderson help celebrate your wedding? Share your photos (story continues below).
Mr Anderson said his wife had a warm nature, a happy face and a positive attitude, qualities that meant she was sought-after as a celebrant.
"I will never forget when people used to come to our home for interviews with Pat before the funeral," he said.
"They would come in the door very dejected with sad faces and sometimes crying. They would have their interview and I would hear little bursts of laughter coming from the office.
"When they walked out they were smiling and happy. I used to say to Pat 'I don't know what you say to them'. That is a very strong memory. And it happened every time."
Mrs Anderson was born in Ballarat on December 15, 1942.
She first began working as a marriage celebrant in 1978 after friends who were getting married shared their frustrations at a lack of options other than getting married in a church.
She became one of only two marriage celebrants in Ballarat during the 80s and 90s.
Mr Anderson said he retired and began supporting Mrs Anderson in her work completing paperwork, certificates and book work.
"From there on it was busy," he said.
"Every weekend we drove all over western Victoria. Sometimes it would be three weddings on the one day.
"Time went by. Someone had passed away who Pat had married and she was asked to do the funeral. So that started her work as a funeral celebrant and officiant for naming ceremonies.
She had a knack for communicating with people and drawing information from them.
"She would take notes when she was interviewing the people and I would write it up so when she did the service she could read the history and make it personal."
Mrs Anderson retired as a marriage celebrant in 2010 but continued as a funeral celebrant at request.
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