Gordon David "Tiger" Edmonds was larger than life in every single dimension, his nephew, Peter Edmonds, says.
Tiger died on July 28, aged 92, having outlived most of his contemporaries. He was a devoted family man, lifelong churchgoer, prosperous businessman, extraordinary golfer and true friend - with a touch of the larrikin as well.
He and his brother, Lawrence, started Edmonds Motors in Whanganui East. Later Tiger was the dealer ambassador for Suzuki and a very keen golfer and life member of the Wanganui Golf Club.
His parents were James and Christina Edmonds, and Gordon was the sixth of their seven children. They lived in Milward St in Whanganui East.
Gordon's mother gave him the nickname "Tiger" when he was 4 years old.
"He used to borrow Tiger Tim comics from his older brothers and wouldn't give them back without World War 93," Peter Edmonds said.
Tiger went to Whanganui East School and Wanganui Technical College. He was a keen scout and harrier. After school he was a motor engineer apprentice at the Mereweather Motor Company, which later became Wanganui Motors.
As a young man he helped out after the Tangiwai train disaster, one of two events in his life that really upset him.
In 1949 Tiger married Jean Atcheson, and his school friend, Bryan Farrington, married her identical twin sister, Margaret. The two families remained very close.
Tiger and Jean set up house in Tanguru St and Tiger and his older brother, Lawrence, went into business as Edmonds Motors in Jones St. The business maintained milk collection and delivery trucks, and did well.
It also sold Homelite chainsaws and Allis Chalmers earthmoving machinery. One of its first major sales was a bulldozer to Whanganui's Ian Loader.
Tiger and Jean moved to a big house in Bristow St and had seven children: Bryan, Paul, Judy, Keith, Linda, Steve and Chris. They all attended Catholic services and had wonderful holidays with their cousins, skiing and boating on Lake Taupo in Tiger's boat, Tiger Tim.
The children remember waiting for hours while their father sold tractors in pubs - and one occasion when he and a friend had to make a very speedy getaway.
Tiger fished and grew vegetables with gusto. He got serious about golf through playing at the Chateau Tongariro course on a day when the weather was too rough for skiing.
When the children left home the couple moved to Somerset Rd, where Jean died of cancer. This threw Tiger for a while, but he continued playing golf, visiting children in Australia and running the Whanganui East business, adding a tow truck and used car yard, both called Tiger's Takeaways.
He was asked to become Suzuki NZ's dealer ambassador, a role that suited his gregarious personality.
Some time later Tiger met fellow golfer Marion Dorgan, and the two moved to St Helen's Pl. They bought a caravan, and toured the country playing golf. About 10 years ago they moved to a house at the Jane Winstone Retirement Village, and became a poster couple in Ryman Healthcare's advertising.
Tiger had a long and lucky life, and nephew Peter said he was a true friend to all. He is survived by Marion, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.