Larger than life ad man David 'Devo' Walden's funeral at Parnell's Holy Trinity Cathedral today was not your typical black suit, bowed head and white flower affair.

Though tears flowed for the 66-year-old who died last week, there was plenty of clapping and laughter too.

Flowers were yellow and purple and many attendees wore pink, purple, orange, blue and green.

It's what Devo wanted, despite the fact he always wore black himself, his long-time friend, Rodney Wayne said.

Advertisement

"Devo will be missed by many people. And especially a great number of restaurateurs," he said to a church full of laughter.

"He could turn a restaurant that was a bit boring to a lively and exciting scene.
"You're sure gonna be missed."

Mr Walden's love of Bluff Oysters and "fine New Zealand wine" was mentioned several times throughout the ceremony.

"He brought joy to all of us," Australian ad man Scott Whybin said.

One of his "favourite widows", Annie Dow, spoke of her friend's booming voice, their overseas adventures, and his eloquent way of speaking.

Andy Cutler, Mr Walden's childhood friend, spoke of a long list of the man's attributes, which included his honesty, intelligence, empathy, openness, resourcefulness, generosity and uniqueness.

"And of course he was a fun guy," Mr Cutler said.

"You're huge. We will never forget you. Ka kite. And rest in peace."

Another friend of Mr Walden's, Simon Shattky, spoke at the front of the full church, drawing fits of laughter and applause.

"So many stories to tell and such a completely inappropriate place to tell them."

Mr Walden's daughter Joanna also spoke fondly of her dad at the service.

"He believed in his friends, when they didn't even believe in themselves," she said of her father amid flamboyant stories of his escapades involving bluff oysters, booze and flying a dog across the Tasman for Christmas.

"He lived multiple lives in his one. And accomplished more than anyone could ever know."