A family man with an infectious personality is how beloved Launceston businessman Rex Sainty has been remembered.
Aged 76, Mr Sainty passed away on Saturday at the Melwood Ward at St Luke's, after a 22 year long cancer battle.
Daughter Kellie Green said the family had been flooded with love and support after the news of his passing became public.
"At a time like this, the love and support just fills your heart," she said.
"It's amazing to stop and think that your dad had reached out to so many people, when he filled others with so much love and joy and we never missed out - he seemed to stretch beyond just our family and reach so many others.
"You only would have had to meet him once and you'd have been welcomed into his embrace, he was very happy to speak to anyone, share his knowledge and his time, he was very community minded and hard working."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mr Sainty was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, with a secondary bone cancer diagnosis years later.
"He got given 6-18 months then, and there's been highs and lows," Ms Green said.
"Over the last 12 months his health deteriorated.
"The staff at Melwood were exceptional and we as a family are forever grateful. They made a hospital room such a welcoming sanctuary where we could comfortably spend the last few weeks with dad."
Mr Sainty was a well-known public figure - known for his years working as a bus driver, and his love of sport.
"Dad was just such a people person, when you stepped onto his bus you felt like you were in a one-on-one chauffeur driven service," Ms Green said.
"There might be sixty kids on a bus, but he knew when you were there, he was always so welcoming."
Launceston Christian School was one of many schools who used Sainty's services, and executive assistant Katrina Barracu described his passing as a "huge loss".
"He knew every single child's name," she said.
"He'd always get invited to our graduation dinner - he and [wife] Sheila would come as guests, but Rex would always drive the bus with the Year 12 students and then come along.
"They were definitely honorary staff members and very special to us."
A large part of his life was local sport - particularly loved by his Launceston Tornadoes and St Pats Football Club.
Launceston Tornadoes coach Sarah Veale described Mr Sainty as a "stand out human being".
"I think Rexy has been involved since game one in 1994 - because he was at our first game, we got to know each other and he started supporting basketball from that very first game," she said.
"He became a sponsor, we took his buses if we ever needed to go to the North West for a game or for trainings, he became a part of our family."
Ms Veale said he was a big contributor to the club's culture.
"He was an absolute legend and a gentleman - win, lose or draw, upstairs after the game he was always there," she said.
"There was always a hug, always a well done, he was the most positive and inspiring human any of us had met.
"He was at our weddings, our kid's christenings, drove us on hens nights, hugged us when we've lost people, been to funerals and births, just been there for us during those years of our lives.
"He's fought so hard for so long, but that's just him, just Rexy - he's a stand out human being and leaves behind an incredible legacy.
"A very bright light went out that's for sure."
Former St Pats coach Lenny Towns said Mr Sainty was a proud and passionate supporter.
"Little clubs like ours and so many others can't survive without sponsors, and we never had to worry about anything like buses for away games, with Rex that was always taken care of," Mr Towns said.
"His contribution goes so far beyond monetary terms - he just made everyone feel so welcome, he had a great personality, he'd always be the first to buy the boys a beer after an unexpected win.
"Our club is deeply saddened by his passing, but I think our club is a much better place for having Rexy be a part of it."
Infrastructure Minister and family friend Michael Ferguson described Mr Sainty as "first and foremost a family man".
"He took so much pleasure in talking about his family, and saw them as his and Sheila's greatest accomplishment," he said.
"But there were so many other things Rex achieved in his time with us - a successful and much-admired bus operator, his young and old passengers grew to know and appreciate his cheeky wit and caring service.
"With Rex, everything was about good relationships, seeing the good things instead of dwelling on negatives and helping people get through a tough day with a friendly world.
"Rex is known as a generous giver to our community. We all loved Rex, and he loved all of us.
"Rest in peace Rexy."
Become a digital subscriber today. Online you can view today's paper and keep up-to-date with breaking news. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.