A man who had a way of bringing life to any situation still manages to put a smile of people's faces on the day he is laid to rest.
The curtains of the Rotorua Boys' High School hall were drawn over open windows, waved slightly and offered a glimpse to the cloudless sky outside.
Although the hall could seat 450 people, it quickly became too small as hundreds came to farewell long-serving local lawyer Harry Edwards who died aged 69.
The hall was filled with people from all walks of life - judges, politicians, police officers and everyone in between ... a testament to his charm, compassion and ability to relate to anyone.
He lay in a coffin adorned with flowers, his guitar perched to the left and his black judge's gown and periwig to the right, centre stage to those whose lives will now be a few shades less vibrant.
His former high school, of which he was not a top academic, was a place his photo was hung in the hall of fame for his contributions to the community as a criminal lawyer.
It is an accolade to his hard work, determination and the "Harry-factor" which gave him a life full of love and the love he passed on to others.
His youngest brother, Tony, led the service and opened with a story about two "serious" occasions when Harry jumped into action and saved his life from drowning.
"And the reason I'm telling you that is that there were times Harry was able to take his responsibility seriously," he said, which brought on laughter.
Although the atmosphere was sombre and many eyes were wet, laughter frequently peppered the gathering as the memories were shared.
Rotorua legal fraternity mourn loss of 'good man, great friend'
Rotorua leaders pay tribute to 'larger than life' lawyer Harry Edward
The service was "a celebration", his wife Sue said, though one that has left them broken.
"Your death will leave a huge hole in our lives and you will be sorely missed."
She remembered her husband, and the father of her three children, as a man who enjoyed life's simple pleasures.
"His greatest pleasure was sitting around the dining room table with family and friends, singing, playing the guitar, telling old war stories," she said.
• Premium - Rotorua legal fraternity mourn loss of 'good man, great friend' Harry Edward
• Premium - Rotorua lawyer Harry Edward dies, aged 69
• Rotorua leaders pay tribute to 'larger than life' lawyer Harry Edward
• Premium - Harry Edward still putting a smile on people's faces at his funeral
He also loved the three Rs, she said.
"Rugby, racing and red wine."
The family celebrated his 69th birthday a few weeks ago and Sue remembered as the cake came out, he picked up the guitar and sang, "happy birthday to me".
The couple would have been married for 43 years in January.
"In Harry's words, four life-sentences."
He loved the law, from meeting clients, colleagues, judges, police and court staff and had been a sole-practitioner for 31 years.
But he equally could not wait to get home where horse racing would be on in the background or his love-hate relationship with golf could go ahead.
Harry's brother, Ian, said he was overwhelmed as people came forward and spoke of how much he had helped their family, helped when they were in time of need.
"And that's what Harry was the master of."
He remembered a time in Thames when they needed milk for their lunch break while renovating.
"There was this enormous clattering and commotion at the front door," he said.
"Harry had jumped a couple of fences and roped a cow and proceeded to tow the cow into the front door into the lounge and started to milk the cow."
Russell Harrison and Richard Anaru offered their condolences and performed an acoustic cover of 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong.
Top Judge Justice Rhys Harrison wrote a letter to the family and remembered Harry's devotion to the people he served and his personality.
"Harry was a lawyer of and for the people, totally committed to the cause of every person," he wrote.
"I recall that sentences were often reduced simply in recognition of the Harry-factor."
A photo-montage played and captivated the mourners with the harmonica and vocals - all Harry.
If a picture speaks a thousand words, the photos showed an overwhelming pride for his children, a devotion to his loved ones, charm and a funny bone that never failed to make an appearance.
Among those mourning the loss of the respected legal eagle was Judge Phillip Cooper, who encountered Harry Edward in his defence counsel capacity virtually every day for nearly 25 years.
"Harry was a larger than life character who has left an indelible mark on the legal landscape of Rotorua," Cooper said.
Kaumātua Monty Morrison said Ngati Whakaue was privileged to welcome Harry to the school an hour before the service when they fulfilled a tangi.
"We as Māori say, the bird continues to sing," he said.
In the words of his wife Sue, there was no better way to celebrate Harry than in the school hall, listening to his favourite songs, surrounded by his family, friends and colleagues.
"This truly is a celebration of his life."