Nowra Hill resident Cliff Harris died on Tuesday night after a brief battle with leukaemia.
Mr Harris was a well known community member.
He worked as an engineer with Shoalhaven City Council since 1981.
Having always been an avid bushwalker he volunteered with the Shoalhaven SES Wilderness Search Group for the past decade.
Shoalhaven City Council general manager, Russ Pigg said Mr Harris had made a lasting contribution to the organisation describing him as one of the most experienced and astute engineers he had worked with.
“Since officially starting his career with council in 1981 Cliff has proven to be one of the most reliable and hardworking employees within the organisation,” Mr Pigg said.
“Most importantly, Cliff held a unanimous reputation as being a terrific bloke and a loyal mate to a good many of his fellow staff members.”
“Cliff was an extremely generous and gentle man and would always put the needs of the organisation and the community at the forefront of his work.”
“It goes without saying that the entire organisation is extremely saddened at the loss of one of the council’s most esteemed, well liked and respected employees.”
“Cliff will be greatly missed by all those that had the pleasure of working alongside him.”
“On behalf of council I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Cliff’s wife, Michelle, their children and the rest of his family.”
Three weeks ago Mr Harris and three of his best workmates represented Shoalhaven SES in the testing annual NSW Emergency Services Wilderness Navigation Shield.
The group finished second out of 125 local, interstate and international teams.
Northern Shoalhaven SES Controller Mark Kielly said Mr Harris’ death had rocked the SES.
“Cliff was a member of the Nowra unit for about 12 years as part of the Wilderness Search Group.
“A lot of us are having trouble coming to terms with it.
“He’s going to be sadly missed by everyone who knew him,” Mr Kielly said.
Mr Harris is survived by his wife Michelle and two children.