The sole New Zealand citizen on board the ill-fated MH17 flight has been remembered as a "warm, creative and generous" person.
Mary Menke, 65, and her Dutch-born husband Gerry were returning to their home in Australia after celebrating his 70th birthday with family and friends in the south of France.
Gallery: The faces behind the tragedy of flight MH17
Image 1 of 40 Mary Menke , New Zealander confirmed as being on the Malaysian Airlines Fligh MH17 Sourced from theage.com.au AGENCY PLEASE Image 2 of 40 Three confirmed passengers onboard MH17. Malaysian actress, Shuba Jaya, was returning to Malaysia with her husband, Paul Goes, and their 2-year-old-da Image 3 of 40 Widi Yuwono, the brother of Yuli Hastini, rear, holds a photograph of his sister's family, showing Hastini, right, her Dutch husband John Paulissen, l Image 4 of 40 Robert Ayley , New Zealander confirmed as being onboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 Photo supplied to the Herald on Sunday by family Image 5 of 40 Bryce Fredriksz and Daisy Oehlers of The Netherlands , confirmed as being onboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebook p Image 6 of 40 epa04320591 Widi Yuliono a relative of John Paulisen, shows photographs of John Paulisen (Top-L), Yuli Hastini (Top-R), Arjuna Martin Paulisen (L) and Image 7 of 40 Jennifer Van Der Leij of The Netherlands , confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Seen her in the viewing area of Auckland Image 8 of 40 Muhammad Afif , Mohd Afruz , Marsha Azmeena , Tambi Jiee , Ariza Ghazalee, Muhammad Afzal confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines fligh Image 9 of 40 Ariza Ghazalee and Tambi Jiee seen on top of Table Mountain in a photo posted to Facebook. The couple have been confirmed as being onboard doomed Mala Image 10 of 40 Karlijn Keijzer, 25 , a doctoral student at Indian aUniversity where she was on the rowing team. Keijzer has been confirmed as being onboard doomed Ma Image 11 of 40 Henk Tournier (R) with his wife Ineke Westerveld. The couple were confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced fr Image 12 of 40 Robert Ayley and his wife Sharlene . Ayley is confirmed as being onboard the doomed Malaysian Airlies Flight MH17 Photo supplied to the Herald on Sund Image 13 of 40 Dutch-American student Quinn Lucas Schansman , 19 , confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebo Image 14 of 40 24 year old Canadian man Andrei Anghel, confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from LinkedIn Image 15 of 40 20 year old Ben Pocock of Keynsham near Bristol, confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebook Image 16 of 40 20 year old Leicster man Richard Mayne, confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebook page Image 17 of 40 Newcastle United fan John Alder , confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/ Image 18 of 40 Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney , confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebook page Image 19 of 40 Cameron Dalziel , confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 , seen here with his wife Reine and son Sheldon Image posted to Twi Image 20 of 40 Fatima Dyczynski, 24, CEO and Director of Xoterra Space . Confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Supplied to the Herald on Image 21 of 40 Sister Philomene Tiernan (left) with Kincoppal-Rose Bay Principal Hilary Johnston-Croke . Tiernan has been confirmed as being onboard the doomed Malay Image 22 of 40 Mohamad Ghafar Abu Bakar , the chief air steward onboard the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 . Pictured here with his mother 74 yeard Maimon Sar Image 23 of 40 Ng Shi Ing , a 33 year old Malaysian Edinburgh University graduate who was confirmed as being onboard MH17 Photo supplied Image 24 of 40 Valentijn and Emma Essers , confirmed as passengers onboard MH17 Sourced from : https://www.facebook.com/valentijn.essers/photos Image 25 of 40 Passport of Dutch woman Jolette Nuesink , found by a local in Eastern Ukraine after the destruction of MH17 . Posted to Twitter by @MOR2537 https://t Image 26 of 40 Albert and Maree Rizk , of Sunbury , Victoria . Confirmed as being onboard MH17 Supplied for use in Herald on Sunday Image 27 of 40 A supplied image obtained Friday, July 18 2014 of Francesca ?Frankie? (left) and her husband Liam Davison who are understood to have been on the Malay Image 28 of 40 Elaine Teoh , a student at Melbourne University, confirmed to have been on board MH17 Photo sourced from an open Facebook Image 29 of 40 Perth man Nick Norris who perished along with his grandchildren on Malaysia Airlines MH17 SUPPLIED 18th July 2014 Victim Image 30 of 40 Child victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on th Image 31 of 40 Queensland Pathologist Dr Roger Guard. Who is believed to have died when Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine. SUPPLIED http://www. Image 32 of 40 Cor Pan. who is amoung the victims of the MH17 Malaysia airlines crash in the Ukraine. SUPPLIED https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4654190502622 Image 33 of 40 Dr Jill Guard pictured in Auckland on 3rd July 2014. Guard is believed to have died when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukrai Image 34 of 40 Malaysia Airlines Stewardess Angeline Premila pictured in Auckland on 3rd July 2014. Angeline is believed to have died when flight MH17 was shot dow Image 35 of 40 Malaysia Airlines MH17 Steward Sanjid Singh SUPPLIED 18th July 2014 victim Image 36 of 40 Malaysia Airlines stewardess Azrina Yakob who is beleived to have died onboard flight MH17 shot down over the Ukraine. SUPPLIED https://www.facebook. Image 37 of 40 Leading researcher into the HIV virus Joep Lange, Professor of Medicine, Head of the Department of Global Health, at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC Image 38 of 40 27 year old Elaine Teoh a Melbourne University student is confirmed to have been on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 @9NewsAUS SUPPLIED https://twitter Image 39 of 40 Sunbury real estate agent Albert Rizk confirmed as an Australian casualty of Malaysian Airlines MH17 air disaster. Pic: facebook Source: Facebook SU Image 40 of 40 Angeline Premila filght crew on board Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH 17 that was shot down over ther Ukraine . Picture from Facebook https://www.facebo
The pair were two of the 298 people killed when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky over Ukraine on Friday, reportedly by Russian-backed separatists.
• Friends mourn former Queenstown man
• Mum of victim has no anger
• Kiwi passenger's last email to family
Mary, who moved to Australia in her mid-20s, and her husband were pioneers in the seafood industry in their adopted home of Mallacoota, Victoria.
They left behind four children Paul, Sara, Brett and Anna. In a statement, the family said they would be "sorely missed".
"We take comfort in the fact they were together and that's how they would have wanted it to be."
It is understood Mary's father and sister live in New Zealand.
Watch: MH17: Officials fear MH17 site tampered by rebels
Mary was a talented piano player, taught music at the local high school, and supported Gerry's business ventures. "She was a larger-than-life character ... warm, creative and generous," the Menke family said.
Gerry, a paua diver with more than 30 years experience, helped establish Victoria's burgeoning abalone pearl aquaculture business. He was reportedly inspired to start the business after a visit to a New Zealand enterprise.
A relative last night told the Herald on Sunday from Australia that Mary had moved to Australia in 1971, where she "met the man of her dreams".
Watch: MH17: Pro-Russian rebels refusing to hand over crash evidence: Kiev
And last night, as the world's anger turned on Ukraine and Russia, fresh details emerged of other Kiwi connections to the ill-fated flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Rob Ayley, 29, from Otaki, was on his way home from a month-long trip to Europe. He is survived by wife Sharlene and sons, Seth, 4, and Taylor, 2.
Dutch couple Hendrik-Jan "Henk" Tournier and Ineke Westerveld were on their way to New Zealand to visit Henk's Taupo-based daughter, Nanda Bright, and their two grandsons, aged 12 and 9.
Flames amongst the wreckage of the jet. Photo / AFP
Popular former Auckland and Queenstown restaurateur Benoit Chardome was also on board. The Dutchman lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years before moving to Bali six years ago. He was maitre d' at well-known Parnell restaurant Iguacu for two years, before buying two Queenstown eateries.
Two Newcastle United fans following their team to New Zealand for the English Premier League club's first tour here were killed, and will be honoured at games played in Dunedin and Wellington this week.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities last night accused Russian rebels of removing bodies and tampering with evidence at the crash site. Armed pro-Russian rebels earlier stood guard and fired warning shots at international inspectors.
A piece of the plane lies in the grass as a group of Ukrainian coal miners search the crash site. Photo / AP
Bodies and debris are strewn across a 10km radius near Grabovo, around 50km from the Russian border.
Internationally mediated talks "concluded with an agreement to set up a 20km security zone so Ukraine could fulfil the most important thing - identify the bodies and hand them over to relatives," Ukrainian Security Service head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said last night.
It remained unclear whether the crucial black boxes were still at the site. Amid confusion over the whereabouts of the flight recorders, Russian authorities had to deny having any plans to spirit them away.
That assurance failed to stop pressure on Moscow. President Barack Obama described the deaths of nearly 300 people as an "outrage", as he issued a stark warning to Vladimir Putin for supporting the separatists who are thought to have fired the surface-to-air missile which brought down the aircraft.
Putin was accused of avoiding phone calls from world leaders.
The UN Security Council in New York yesterday passed a resolution calling for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation". Dutch Ambassador to the UN Karel van Oosterom told the council's emergency meeting: "This is a dark hour in our national history. We are a nation in shock."
Foreign Minister Murray McCully joined the voices calling for a credible inquiry. The disaster comes just four months after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the skies with 239 people on board, including Kiwis Paul Weeks and Ximin Wang.
• Reporting team: Kirsty Wynn, Brendan Manning, Amy Maas, Matthew Theunissen