Smithton's Charles (Charlie) Zerafa will be remembered for being a 'likeable larrikin' according to Circular Head mayor Daryl Quilliam.
"He was always a likeable fellow."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mr Zerafa died on Sunday in the North West Regional Hospital, after being diagnosed at the end of 2019 with liver cancer. He is also believed to have contracted COVID-19 recently.
He is one of the few people to have earned the Star of Courage, an award conferred on him in 2011 for an act of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
He was presented with the award after he approached a gunman who had just shot a police officer beside the Midland Highway near Brighton in 2006.
Close friend and extended family member Daniel Popowski said Mr Zerafa was like a father to him, as well as his best friend.
FRIENDLY AND OUTGOING
"He was a lovely, outgoing person. He would do anything for anybody; he'd take time out to talk, he'd make sure everyone was happy.
"He was a dad to me, my best friend and at the same time, like a father-in-law. He's always stayed with me for the last 10-11 years."
Mr Popowski said Mr Zerafa used to get around and visited most parts of Tasmania.
He owned a shack on a block of land near Edith Creek, where he raised his two daughters Connie and Aquila. He also has a son, Shane, who lives on the mainland.
From time to time he would work on Norm and Nancy Corrigan's dairy farms, and regularly tended Mrs Corrigan's garden.
Mr Popowski said Mr Zerafa was a really good guitarist, and played 'all the time'.
His big loves were his daughters, and the bush, where he lived for extended periods.
"I'll miss everything about him," Mr Popowski said. "He's been there for me.
'PERFECT' ON THE GARDENS
"Through the final weeks, I looked after him. The week before he went to hospital he was at my place.
"Life is going to be sad. He's always been around for me. He was one best friend."
Circular Head farmer Nancy Corrigan said Mr Zerafa lived in two or three of their farm properties over the years.
"He'd go walkabout, then he'd be back again. He loved doing the garden and he was perfect on the gardens. He was really friendly."
Mrs Corrigan said he was a good guy, and a larrikin and totally harmless.
When she saw him about two months ago, she couldn't believe he had cancer.
"He looked so healthy and fit."
Mr Zerafa is survived by his daughters Connie and Aquila, son Shane and his grandchildren.