As children, Vivienne Pascoe and her younger sister, who grew up to be actress Dame Pat Evison, sang nursery rhymes together.
Her sister's love of the tunes gave rise to her sister childhood nickname 'Muff', from Little Miss Muffet - her favourite.
"She made sure, by gesture and voice, that the spider really was frightened away," she said.
Dame Pat was known for her television roles during the 1970s and 1980s, as Phyllis Telford in the drama Pukemanu, as Violet Carnegie in The Flying Doctors and her role in Close to Home.
She was  a supporter of theatre and appeared at Downstage in Wellington in its first year, 1964.
Dame Pat was one of the first Kiwis to receive a scholarship to study at the Old Vic Theatre School in London, where she studied directing but she switched back to her first love, acting, upon returning to New Zealand.
Holding a copy of her sister's autobiography close, Mrs Pascoe, who retired to Tauranga in 1980, recalled some of her fondest memories of Dame Pat, who passed away on May 30 aged 85.
"She loved words. She loved the sound of them, even when she was a toddler and didn't understand."
Growing up, there was always music and arts in the house.
Mrs Pascoe said their parents, a Methodist pastor and deacon, encouraged music and all three daughters learned instruments, including Dame Pat who played cello.
Dame Pat's decision to follow acting as a career was always supported.
"Pat was a very strong character, some might say difficult to work with. But when she entered a room you couldn't help but notice. She was not at all beautiful, but her face reflected all sorts of things," Mrs Pascoe said.
Mrs Pascoe  lived  overseas for many years, so had not followed her sister's television career closely at the time, but after she returned the two resumed their close relationship.
She last saw Dame Pat about three weeks before her passing.
"She had gangrene in her foot, from the diabetes. So we knew it was coming, that she didn't have long, but it was still a great shock.
"We were great friends. It's still very hard," she said.
Mrs Pascoe, who at 94 is under 24-hour care, went to Wellington for the funeral.
She said it was "wonderful".
"A tribute to her in every way."