Richard "Dick" Nelson Langdon, also known as "Dickie Boy", epitomised living life to its fullest extent.
Remembered by his three children, Jan, 65, Richard, 60 and Vicki, 57, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, Dick, who was 95, was by all accounts, a humble, caring man whose legacy spanned many years in many different ways.
Born in 1923 in Whangārei's McLeod Bay, Dick's youth was headed by his involvement in World War II as an 18-year-old, based in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, where he was stationed in Bougainville to protect a local airport from Japanese forces.
"[Dick] was never on the front lines, he just told me a little bit about Bougainville where the big bombers would come in and land on a steel grid at the airport, he said it was a hell of a noise when they landed," Richard said.
Returning safely from war as a 21-year-old with medals in tow, Dick set up shop as a car-painter, an occupation he would hold for most of his working life. However, this marked the start of his rugby career at the Hora Hora Rugby Club.
While he never spoke much of his time in rugby or in war according to his children, Dick etched his name into Northland rugby folklore as a member of the 1950 North Auckland rugby team which won the coveted Ranfurly Shield from South Canterbury in 1950.
In the same year, the winger/centre played for the same North Auckland team who were robbed of victory against the British and Irish Lions, losing 8-6 despite two disallowed tries.
However, among these achievements lies a great contribution to Hora Hora, who Dick played for over about nine years. In that time, he played his part in the club's first championship win in Northland's top competition in 1951.
The club's success didn't stop there as they went on to win two more consecutive competition titles, the longest consecutive title run in the club's history. The hat trick of wins was further honoured in club's current emblem, which has three stars above its crest.
From a player, Dick transitioned into a coaching role where he was involved in the premier team's tour to Fiji in 1963, which was one of the first overseas trips made without grants in Northland.
Through it all, Dick raised his family along with wife Fay, who passed away nearly eight years ago. While sadness emanates from his family, comfort is found through the life Dick forged for himself and those around him.
"It's like an end of an era for us really, it's a huge hole now," Jan said.
"I think he'd be pretty proud of everything he's achieved in his life and had no regrets in what he's done, which is a pretty amazing thing to be able to say of your life."
With his service held on Thursday, Dick was set to be buried in a local war veterans' cemetery alongside his wife. According to daughter Vicki, she was glad her father recovered from the loss with time.
"It was pretty devastating for him, they were together 58 years so that was a big hole, but he was amazing, he actually got on with his life, he handled it pretty well."
As they reminisce of holidays at Pataua and their father's passion for fishing, son Richard said his father's legacy would be his passions for family, rugby and living his life his own way.
"Dad lived it his way, he'd be proud of the fact that he wasn't influenced by other people and he made his good decisions when he wanted to because he had a pretty amazing life, I'm sure he's proud of all the kids, because he was quite a family man," he said.
"He wasn't that concerned about money, he was more concerned about having a good life."