The family of a Numurkah man killed in a car crash last Saturday have paid tribute to a lovable larrikin.ESTELLE GRIEPINK May 16, 2014 5:05am
Luke McKie, 23, was killed when the car he was travelling in hit a tree on a road just east of Nathalia on Saturday, May 10.
His mother Sharon Nicholls said Luke was a cheeky monkey who was always happy.
‘‘When you were down, he was always the first one to make you happy and he was full of cuddles and kisses,’’ Ms Nicholls said.
‘‘He made me so proud and there’s not a bad thing anyone could ever say about him. I loved him to death and will continue to love him until I meet him at those gates.’’
Luke was a beloved big brother to Kristie, 22, Marshall, 18, and Jamie, 15.
Kristie said Luke completed their family and there would always be an empty spot in their hearts for him.
‘‘We all just wish this was a bad dream, we want to see him walking through the door and say, ‘G’Day matey’,’’ she said.
Kristie said she and Luke spent a lot of time together growing up and the pair had many funny memories together.
She recalled a story when they were about 13 and were riding a three-wheeler motorbike at the family farm.
‘‘He was going really fast and we hit a drain. I came flying off the back and I went under the back wheels and got knocked out,’’ she said.
‘‘I woke up to him saying, ‘Don’t tell Dad, don’t tell Dad!’’
As the siblings grew older they grew even closer, especially in the last three months.
Kristie said Luke had only recently told her she was his best friend.
‘‘He’s my best friend too, and he will be forever,’’ she said.
Like his father, Luke was a car fanatic, with a soft spot for VL Commodores.
His brother Marshall said he was going to look after Luke’s car and do it up like it was his own.
‘‘Luke was my absolute hero since I was a little boy and I idolised him no matter what it was,’’ he said.
Luke was a popular and valued employee at State Wide Pest Control in Shepparton.
His boss Rowan Rodaughan said Luke had left a hole in the business.
‘‘Dear old Lukey, he was such a fantastic kid,’’ Mr Rodaughan said.
‘‘He was a good worker, very polite, and always liked a bit of a joke.’’
Mr Rodaughan said Luke was mechanically-minded and was always volunteering to fix the company’s vehicles if they had any problems.
He recalled asking Luke why he wanted to work in pest control when his real passion seemed to be cars.
‘‘He said he didn’t want to be stuck in a shed all day, so we gave him a job and he went about his work very well,’’ he said.
‘‘He was actually in the process of moving up to Griffith to do some work there for us and we were only more than happy to let him go because his work ethic was great.’’
Mr Rodaughan said Luke’s friendly personality and dedication to hard work would be missed by all his colleagues.
‘‘He had that vibrant exuberance and he was great to have around. If we ever asked him to do anything extra, it was never an issue,’’ he said.
‘‘Our hearts go out to his family.’’
A funeral for Luke will be at 1
Today’s guest opinion column comes from former Shepparton resident and Notre Dame College alumni Joshua Nappa, who now studies economics and finance at RMIT in Melbourne. Joshua has written about the potential he sees in Shepparton reduce unemployment and help our retail sector.
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