It was a grand send-off for a man who was wholeheartedly loved by his whānau, friends and community.

And even though it wasn't the service the family of Marshall Rangi had envisaged, due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, it was one Marshall himself would have been quietly proud of.

On Monday the father of two, husband, grandfather and friend known fondly as "Bundo" was honoured by the emergency services and organisations he worked and volunteered with over the course of a life lived in Moerewa and Kawakawa.

The Kawakawa Fire Brigade farewelled their mate by forming a guard of honour at the station, where Bundo volunteered for 30 years.


Volunteer firefighter, 19, among 183 people charged with lighting fires in New South Wales
Kerikeri firefighter honoured for 50 years' volunteer service
'It's a massive loss': Volunteer firefighter Wayne Ferguson remembered
Eltham Volunteer Fire Fighter to receive gold star for 50 years' service

As the rain beat down, his hearse, guided by two fire trucks, made its way slowly through the town's main street where a smattering of people stood on footpaths holding their umbrellas.

The procession paused briefly outside the 39 Gillies Street Café where Bundo spent his mornings over a latte with his friends, St John paramedic Wally Lipsham and local courier driver Ben Yakas.

A St John ambulance crew parked on the roadside gave Bundo, who would have turned 71 on Monday, his final call over the radio.

Then the vehicles made their way to Kawakawa cemetery for the burial, which only his wife Laurel and son Morgan could attend.

The service was livestreamed on social media.

"He would have been chuffed and proud of what the community and family and friends could put together in this strange time," Morgan said.

"He would have felt honoured about it. It was pretty special."


Bundo died suddenly on April 16 in Kawakawa.

Along with Morgan, he is survived by his daughter Elysia and granddaughters Anahera and Kahukura.

Marshall Rangi with his son Morgan and granddaughters Kahukura and Anahera at the St John ambulance station. Photo / supplied
Marshall Rangi with his son Morgan and granddaughters Kahukura and Anahera at the St John ambulance station. Photo / supplied

The family plan to hold a memorial at a later date.

Tributes have flooded the private Facebook page called "Bundo's Final Coffee Run" set up to celebrate his life.

He was a great dad, Morgan said.

"He was supportive of his kids and loved his granddaughters. He loved being at home with mum. This was where he wanted to be."


Bundo spent most of his time serving others, whether it was in the army in Singapore and Malaysia in a peacekeeping role in the early 1970s, or later as an ambulance officer at St John for over two decades.

In between he worked at the Affco freezing works for 20 years and drove school and tour buses before retiring in 2014.

He also helped out at the local Lions Club, Māori Wardens, Bay of Islands Swimming Club and Bay of Islands hospital.

Bundo was a gold star and life member of the Kawakawa Volunteer Fire Brigade, having served for over 30 years including 10 years as station officer.

Kawakawa fire chief Wayne Martin said he was a "good mate" who would be greatly missed.

"He was that cheeky person that sometimes you'd shake your head at what he was doing but you'd laugh at the same time," Martin said.


"He'd always go to every Anzac Day and pick up others that might not be able to drive.

"He would give anything for his community and to help them out."

St John Kerikeri station manager Nick Scott said Bundo was a "salt of the earth" type of guy.

"Bundo was one of the most gentle, genuine, all round good buggers I have ever met, and an icon in Kawakawa. Rest easy mate, collect your last latte and fly high... we have the watch."