Teacher Wendy Slade touched the lives of generations of Rotorua children.
From her unwavering faith in the children who needed it most to never forgetting a single person's birthday.
These small but special traits, among others, raised her as one of Rotorua's most loved and respected educators.
Devastatingly, the long-serving Selwyn School teacher lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday morning.
Tributes have been flowing in since her death, describing her as "beautiful soul" who made a huge difference in the lives of her pupils and made an unforgettable fudge.
"She gave her whole life to those kids," her husband John Slade told the Rotorua Daily Post .
He was touched to hear the extent of the impact that his wife had on so many and looks back on their life together with a warm heart.
Fate played a leading role in the love story between Wendy and John Slade.
The year was 1970. Wendy, a bright-eyed teenager, made the move to Palmerston North to start her Bachelor of Education study.
Just down the road, John had started work in a high-end menswear shop.
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Once a week, the youth of the town would head to a nearby dance hall, which John described as a "magnet to the local boys".
He said this was because all the young ladies studying nursing and teaching would get free transport to the hall.
One particular week, John and Wendy found themselves at the same dance. Boys at one end, girls at the other.
As the boys rushed across the room to choose their partners, John and Wendy matched up and had a ball of a night.
After the dance, the pair said goodbye and thought they'd likely never seen each other again.
Only a week later, they bumped into one another in the town centre and could not work out where they knew each other from.
After some chatter, they laughed as they worked it out with John saying "neither of us was wearing our glasses that night so we hadn't known".
The couple dated for a number of years and John admitted his plans to break off the relationship went awry and ended up with a marriage proposal.
In the midst of the emotional exchange, John had said, "well should we get married then?"
Wendy replied, "it's not should we, it's will you?!"
Sure enough, the couple were married in 1974 and had three sons.
John smiled as he spoke about what an incredible mother she was and how she managed to raise "three boys, a dog and me all at once".
The family chose to make the move to Rotorua in 1979, to help Wendy's father run the family business at the Taniwha Springs.
The spot was a favourite for tourists and John said they got "very good at making tea and cakes for the old ladies".
Wendy was a qualified teacher at this stage and after a while decided to head back into the field she loved.
She started a job at Westbrook School for a brief period, before taking a position at Selwyn School where she stayed for the past 32 years.
Wendy devoted her life to teaching and taught "three generations" of Rotorua's children, John said.
"She had a way with children - they all loved her and she loved them".
John said she also had a way of turning around the "bad boys" and put extra work into helping them succeed.
"She gave her whole life to those kids."
The pair would often walk down the main street and hear "Hello Mrs Slade" from people of all ages - past and current students.
Past students even came to visit her in hospital towards the end, he said.
When John and Wendy received the news of her terminal illness eight weeks ago, Wendy's selfless character shown through.
She consoled John and joked "this is good, it will open up a wave of new friends for you" and "you can do the shopping, you know the supermarket".
John was by Wendy's side throughout life and took time off his job at Pollard's to care for her full-time in her final months.
"She never complained, not once... We were always a team."
Wendy was exceptional at organisation, allowing the couple to travel extensively around the world and have regular weekends away in their caravan.
These skills filtered into the school aspect of her life too - where she was always organising school camps and fundraisers for the children.
Small things like never forgetting a single person's birthday and buying every child in her class a Christmas present were special traits Wendy had.
Past student Lukas Scowen, 16, said he absolutely adored Wendy for her kind soul and top sense of humour.
Lukas remembers well the fudge Wendy would have at school for the pupils every Friday.
Scowen described the "soft and crunchy" caramel and chocolate fudge as "the best stuff you would ever experience".
Another past student Lyrissa Ropitini said Wendy played a huge part in shaping who she was today.
Ropitini also mentioned Wendy's exceptional fudge.
Wendy's sister Robyn Yearbury said her "vibrant" sister was always a leader growing up and was "born to be a teacher".
The sisters were always close, with Robyn being a bridesmaid at Wendy's wedding.
Wendy's collection of high-quality shoes and clothes was unprecedented and she always looked beautiful, Robyn said.
"Everyday she looked like she was off to meet the queen," laughed John.
Selwyn School principal Peter Barker said Wendy was dedicated, committed and caring and served generations of children.
In a statement he said: "Wendy, go to rest, leaving the gifts you have shared with us, your colleagues. We will feed the children as you have, with knowledge, sustaining them for their future."
"ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere. Engari, ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao."
In her final days, John said Wendy would often say, "we have had a good life" and "I am happy I married you".
Wendy's service will be held on Tuesday at 2pm at Osborne's funeral home.