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Missed by all who called him 'mate'

The Yarrawonga and Tungamah community has been rocked by the sudden death of local identity Rod Stacey in a tragic accident on Saturday night.

RACHEAL WILLETT March 4, 2014 3:22pm

Rod is remembered as a father, partner, brother, mate, footy coach, club stalwart and all-round top bloke by all those whose lives he touched.

Chris and Britt Stacey said the shock of their father’s death had left the family reeling, but they were comforted by the outpouring of support from family, friends and even complete strangers.

“I had a call from a bloke dad met on Saturday – just a few hours before it happened,” Chris said.

“He’d only just met him but he told me how much he enjoyed talking to him, what a great man he was – that was someone he’d just met.

“That’s the kind of man dad was, he had an impact on everyone around him.

“He was honourable, loyal and my best mate.”

Rod Stacey is survived by Chris, 18, Britt, 21, siblings Gary, Carol, Dianne, Neil, Daryl, Brian and Janine, 13 nieces and nephews and 6 great nieces and nephews.

He will also be greatly missed by his partner Colleen and step-children Jami-Lee, Aiden, Zali, Brianna and Keeley.

Police reported the accident happened around 11.45pm on Saturday, when Rod was riding a bicycle on the Murray Valley Highway, 800m west of Whites Road, and was struck and killed by a vehicle travelling in the same direction.

A report into the accident is being prepared for the Coroner.

Chris said the shock of his dad’s death had left him thinking in hours and days, counting back to the time they last spoke.

Rod had called into the Terminus Hotel where Chris works to have a drink, a habit he often repeated with Britt at her workplace The Yarrawonga Hotel.

“We joked that he was having too much fun dropping in to see us at work, to catch up and have a drink,” Britt said. “But it was his way of making sure he saw us as often as he could.”

Britt and Chris said they had been overwhelmed with so many people taking the time to offer support to the family since the accident.

“It’s hard to believe but it is good to hear so many people talking about him, sharing their memories of dad – to know that so many people cared about him is incredible,” Chris said.

Many friends took to social media to share their grief and thoughts of Rod, with his dedicated days at part of the Tungamah Football Club providing some of the best memories. More than 100 players, families and supporters gathered at the clubrooms on Sunday afternoon to share fond stories of their club stalwart.

Chris said he had been lucky enough to have his dad coach him throughout his junior football days; though he joked he was at times a hard task master.

“I think he was tougher on me – he never took it easy on me that’s for sure,” Chris said.

“But he loved being involved and even when he wasn’t coaching he was umpiring. I think that’s probably why so many people knew him and loved him, he never hesitated to get in and help out.”

Chris and Britt also shared their sadness for the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident and their family, understanding they were also suffering at this time.

They thanked the wider community for their outpouring of support and urged everyone to continue to remember their dad.

“Dad was caring and giving and he was always putting everyone else before himself,” Britt said.

“It’s hard to imagine going on without him but knowing he touched the lives of so many people, knowing that he will be missed by so many people is amazing.”

Rod Stacey will be sadly missed by his family, friends and the extended community of Yarrawonga and Tungamah. He will be remembered for the great person that he was by all who were lucky enough to call him a mate.

The Yarrawonga Chronicle features many tributes to Rod Stacey in this week’s classified section from family, friends and local organisations, see from page 39. Due to time constraints more will follow in next week’s edition.

                                                  

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