Well-regarded Shoalhaven businessman Wes Madge was farewelled at the Nowra School of Arts on Friday.
The hall was packed with community and business members paying tribute to a man who had contributed so much to the Shoalhaven.
Celebrant Robyn Lenehan said Wes and his wife, Meg, were a 'big presence' in town.
We didn't go to the NRMA, we went down to Wes Madge.Celebrant Robyn Lenehan
"I remember decades, yes, decades ago when I was working at Kibble's Pharmacy, taking great pleasure in serving either Wes or Mrs Madge," she said.
"We didn't go to the NRMA, we went down to Wes Madge.
"The Wes Madge building is still used as a point of reference - 'down near Wes Madge, up from Wes Madge, across from Wes Madge, behind Wes Madge".
Wes was not only a prominent businessman but was heavily involved in the Nowra Town Band.
He was the bandmaster and drum major for many years and could play multiple instruments, although the trombone and the euphonium were his specialities.
The town band performed two hymns at the service which had been played by Wes over the years.
Even when he no longer played with the band regularly he continued to be a big supporter.
Outside of business and the town band, Wes enjoyed his downtime.
He loved a good western novel, working in his vegetable garden and fishing in the river with his mates.
"Rumor has it that there were days when they didn't even bait the hook so they didn't have to bother with fish," Ms Lenehan said.
"Just drift on the river with a cold one and no doubt stories of the one that got away."
It is hard though to honour and remember Wes without his wife Meg, as the celebrant described it "the greatest achievement in the life of Wes Madge".
Wes' son Darren spoke earnestly about his father's life and relationship with his mother.
"It's impossible to condense dad's life into a five-minute monologue," he said.
Even throughout his dementia Wes never lost his resolve to care about Meg.
"I'll never forget the day dad told me [Mum had MS], he was crying and he didn't cry too often."
The couple made an enormous contribution to the MS society over many years and Wes will be missed by many in the Shoalhaven.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years Meg and was the much-loved father and father-in-law of Steve and Gillian, Ray and Helen, Darren and Donna and adored Grandpa of his eight grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.