A larger-than-life character, who helped create a successful and well-known family run Kāpiti business, has been farewelled.
The funeral of Goodman Contractors founder Rick Goodman, who passed away at home on Monday last week aged 75, was held at Our Lady of Kāpiti in Paraparaumu on Friday, with a big turnout.
From humble beginnings, the Waikanae business became a very well-oiled operation undertaking major civil engineering projects throughout the country including the Kāpiti expressway.
Born on July 6, 1945, in Lower Hutt to parents Doreen and Frank, outdoor adventures were a key part of Rick's younger years.
His early life was in Wanganui, where his parents owned a hotel, then in Hawke's Bay when they went farming.
By the time he was 15, his parents had moved to Waikanae, where they bought a dairy farm, and his help was needed to run it.
In the early 1960s Rick and brother Tony bought their first bulldozer, leading to the start of Rick's lifelong career in the earthmoving industry.
After a blind date at a Paraparaumu Memorial Hall dance party, Rick married Helen in 1967 — they would be together for 54 years — a true love story.
By 1994, and a lot of water under the bridge, Rick and Helen bought Tony's share of the business and the current Goodman Contractors was born.
The family business, which would involve the couple's children, Stan, Lance, Vaughan and Marianne, consumed a lot of his time and he was away from home a lot.
"Mum, we will never truly know the sacrifices you made so that Dad could be such a success," Lance said at the funeral.
Even in later years, when he had lost both legs and was confined to an electric wheelchair, Rick took a keen interest in the business.
"He always wanted to know how things were going in the office, who was there, and the general gossip," Marianne said.
Thousands of people would be employed by the company over the years with Rick seeing the good in everyone.
"Dad could relate to anyone," Lance said. " I think he believed our problems are universal no matter who you are and at what stage of your personal development. He often didn't have answers but he was a great listener. But somehow you came away with an answer in your head."
He could also forgive people who had done the wrong thing and "never reminded anyone of a misdemeanour".
Rick, nicknamed Pop well before he had grandchildren, might not say the right thing at times but was "happy to be corrected and there was never any malice intended".
A family man through and through, Rick was interested in everything, and was heavily involved in the community serving on various organisations and clubs.
Rick was a large man who was physically and mentally very strong.
"He had one hell of a handshake but you knew you were lining up for a hard one if you saw his teeth," Stan said.
"It was like that's how he measured you," Lance added.
"Dad's hands summed him up: big, strong, warm and all-encompassing."
But he was also nimble and among a wide variety of interests including dancing.
"He was surprisingly light on his feet for a big guy and a good tap dancer."
Rick had a simple faith in God.
"He didn't delve deeply into the rich tapestry of the Bible. He couldn't quote you any psalms. He lived simply. He just enjoyed being part of the church community. Dad was a doer and he would rather serve God by building the church or its foundations than worshipping within it. Dad just believed."
Rick "lived a pretty fantastic life," Marianne said.
"Dad's integrity, generosity, zest for life, and his wonderful storytelling drew many in.
"I know he was regarded as a pretty special friend by many."
Rick is survived by wife Helen and their children Stan, Lance, Vaughan and Marianne.