Hundreds of people packed the All Saints Church in suburban Greenwood today to celebrate the life of Ms Dragun who was known for her beautiful smile, humor, laughter, inner strength and courage. Father Vincent Conroy delivered an excerpt from the Corinthians at today’s service. He originally planned to read it at her marriage to long-term partner Simon Struthers next year. Charmaine and Simon were secretly planning to marry at their joint birthday celebrations in March.
Ms Dragun’s parents Michael and Estelle had been aware of their daughter’s fragility as she struggled with depression. They have previously stated that while her death was defined by depression, her life was defined by love. Friends and colleagues have said the popular journalist was deeply loved and that she was so warm and caring that only her family and closest friends knew she was suffering. This is why her death came as such a shock to the many who cared for her, from colleagues to viewers who have left tributes by the hundreds on websites like Facebook.com.
Charmaine had suffered with depression for years and had changed her medication a fortnight prior to her death. The coroner is investigating. She is understood to have missed her friends and family in Perth since moving to Sydney in 2005 following her promotion to the news desk. Mourners were asked to pray for those burdened by illnesses such as depression.
Today’s service will be followed by a further celebration of her life at Perth’s Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park where Ms Dragun’s parents, partner, mother in law, grandfather and brother Matt will give eulogies. Channel Ten is holding a private memorial service for her in Sydney on Friday. At Pinnaroo, Ms Dragun’s mother Estelle said she was privileged God had chosen her to have Charmaine. “We loved you dearly, we know you loved us and you spread your love to everyone around you. “I know you are up there singing with the angels, organizing and caring for everyone around you.”