Gympie region lost some true legends in 2018
FROM teachers to sports pioneers and business leaders, the Gympie region lost some amazing and iconic characters in 2018.
Below is a list of the beloved community stalwarts who the region lost last year year and the remarkable legacies they leave behind.
ALLEENA Bath was a gentle soul, a devoted wife and mother and an exceptional teacher of the Gympie region's youngest students.
For many years she was a beloved fixture at Alma Street Pre-Prep, formerly known at the Alma Street Kindergarten, attended by thousands of Gympie region children over its long and illustrious history.
DURSHIN Begeda was the first Indian baby born at the Gympie hospital back in 1935.
He grew up on a farm at Beenham-Valley and walked for miles to go to school.
At the age of 17 he hopped on a boat to India to marry Mindar Harisingh, an arrangement that had been made for him by his family - and went on his way to make Gympie history as a respected sergeant and the region's first herat tranplant recipient.
A "CHEEKY, mischievous hard worker" who "would do anything for anyone", 26-year-old Sam Bourke's life was tragically cut short in an horrific crash at Curra.
More than 350 people packed Gympie's Cooloola Coast Crematorium Chapel to farewell Mr Bourke, whose death sent shockwaves through the community.
A YOUNG man who loved his friends and family and was never afraid to tell them has left a hole in the hearts of hundreds who attended his funeral.
Bryce Brunjes-Kilshaw was tragically killed alongside his mate Sam Bourke, robbing the community of a young man who friends described as the type of person who would brighten your day.
"You knew you were having a good day if he came in, he was a ripper of a bloke."
THE Gympie and Wide Bay cricket fraternity, policing community and Mary Street traders farwelled well-known businessman, husband and father Ron Buchholz this year after his dudden death.
Mr Buchholz, who owned and ran two Mary Street businesses, Gympie Bags and Gifts and Cignall, with his wife Cheryl, had only recently been awarded the National Community Official of the Year and Queensland Community Umpire of the Year award for his dedication to cricket and umpiring.
GYMPIE has lost a living legend with the passing of photographer David "Croz" Crossley.
Mr Crossley, 85, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
A former crop and dairy farmer at Kia Ora, where he and a share farmer produced beans, tomatoes, zucchinis and milk, Mr Crossley previously grew crops and wool in NSW before becoming the eye of the region thanks his work as a photographer with The Gympie Times.
ONE of Gympie region's best loved business identities, former Commercial Hotel co-owner Geraldine Farrelly, has died peacefully at the age of 84.
A former nurse, Mrs Farrelly and her husband Tom were long time proprietors of the hotel, which was a base for commercial travellers and a popular watering hole for Gympie residents.
Michael "Tarzan" Fomenko
AN INCREDIBLE piece of Queensland history has come to an end with the death of Michael "Tarzan" Fomenko.
The 88-year-old's captivating life story has become part of the region's folklore.
It has it all - Russian royalty, athletic prowess, brushes with the law and a man choosing to live as a hermit battling crocodiles and the elements in the savage rainforest.
STRAIGHT-shooter, deep-thinker and well-loved; the death of retired bus-driver John Garrott will leave a hole in many Gympie hearts.
The 66-year-old Gympie motorbike enthusiast, husband and father of three died in a motorbike crash while on a charity Poker Run ride in Gympie.
As a Polleys Coaches driver, John was adored by his small passengers and well-respected by his colleagues.
ONE OF Gympie's most recognisable and widely regarded volunteers, Juim Geiger was known throughout the community and held eight life memberships in a range of organisations, including Gympie show Society.
He was also heavily involved in volunteering for the Catholic church and St Vincent de Paul and was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to sport, particularly cricket.
A FAMILY was left devastated and a school community in shock following the sudden death of 15-year-old Gympie teen Jack Gunston.
The Year 9 Gympie State High School student died in hospital following complications from a serious asthma attack.
Gary Gunston said his son was a very well-loved man who had devastatingly only got to live four days past his 15th birthday.
"He was an old soul taken way too soon," Mr Gunston said.
"We love him so much and miss him so much."
ONE of Gympie region's stand-out sporting heroes, Jenny Harragon, has died, aged 65, after a battle with illness.
The former international Bowls player has represented Australia internationally seven times according to her multiple listings on the Kandanga Bowls Club Honour Board.
GYMPIE rugby league fans and former teammates lost a good friend in Noel Haslam, the former Gympie Devil player and junior coach who died aged 44.
Devils president and friend Darren Burns said Haslam was a great person who would be missed.
Mr Haslam coached Gympie's juniors for about four years and won the Devils spirit of rugby league award.
ONE of the Gympie region's larger than life characters passed away - retired Langshaw farmer, father of 12, and rural spokesman Guenter Kath, aged 92.
The former rural producer and spokesman was the father of 12 children, and his life spanned across the globe, from being a POW in World War II, before becoming an iconic farmer whose struggles and remarkable resilience became Gympie legend.
ST PETER'S Anglican Church, Gympie was filled with friends, colleagues and extended family as a final farewell was said for Lew Matthews, who passed away after a short illness.
Lew was born on November 20, 1944, the only child of Harold and Edna Matthews. He was christened Lewis Harold Matthews. He preferred Lew and was only called Lewis by his mother.
He attended Gympie Central School for his primary education and later Gympie State High School where he excelled in his chosen subjects. He developed a thirst for knowledge and this continued right throughout his life.
GYMPIE region farewell a well-known and highly respected long-term GP next week following the death of Dr David Nimmo.
Dr Nimmo was the first president of Gympie's Meals on Wheels and was actively involved in the community, being a long-time member of the Lions Club and other interests.
THE Nolan family lost its matriarch with the death of Marie Nolan, at the age of 92.
Born Marie Patricia Johnson, her given names say much, the beloved mother of Gympie's respected Nolan clan was a huge part of the history of the growth of Nolan Meats from a small retail butchery to one the region;s largest employers.
KEVIN Stolzenberg loved his limited edition HSV Maloo utility.
Not quite as much as the business he built up through nearly 50 years of hard work - Stolzenberg Drilling - nor as much as his family, his son and daughters, family and friends.
But he loved that car.
THE Gympie community is mourning the passing of Dudley Tate, who influenced multiple generations of the region's families through his half-century commitment to the scouts.
The longest serving Scout Sectional leader in Gympie's scout history, Mr Tate was a central part of the region's development for 50 years.
NEARLY 300 people over-filled St Patrick's Church in Gympie to give thanks for the life of a man they remember as friend, teacher, mentor, husband, father, grandfather and sporting coach.
Strange as it may seem for a teacher, Mrs Wigmore's eulogy explained that her late husband did not like school very much when he was a student in London.
THE family of a Gympie woman killed in a horrific car crash penned an emotional tribute to their mother, and well known local businesswoman Karen Zahner.
"Mum was the most kind and gentle soul that we ever knew," wrote children Shane, Nikki and Jasmine.
"She was a caring and thoughtful person that never said a bad word about anybody. Throughout our whole childhood we never heard her raise her voice once."