A CROWD of more than 2000 people packed the Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre to farewell Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones AM Friday morning.
Despite sweltering heat, well-wishers smiled, laughed and cried as family members and dignitaries, including Dame Quentin Bryce, Sydney radio personality Alan Jones AO as well as Deputy Mayor Tanya Milligan and colleague Jamie Simmonds shared stories and memories of Cr Jones.
Cr Milligan lead off the tributes, recounting how Cr Jones would joke with her while she underwent chemotherapy that he had more hair, however she would respond by pointing out her hair would at least grow back.
Pastor Andrew Otte said he respected Cr Jones, particularly after the 2011 floods, when he worked to assist devastated communities.
"He genuinely cared and genuinely serviced this community, my respect for him rose to the maximum during those days," Pastor Otte said.
Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce said she was 'touched' by the invitation to speak at Cr Jones funeral, and described him as a 'beacon of hope and reassurance' to residents during and after the 2011 floods.
Dame Bryce described Cr Jones contribution to democracy as 'magnificent'.
Alan Jones, prominent Sydney radio host, likened interviewing Cr Jones to 'interviewing a Category 5 cyclone'.
"He made you want to have a beer with him," Mr Jones said.
After more than $100,000 was raised to supply Christmas hampers to drought-affected families in western Queensland, Mr Jones said he contacted Cr Jones for advice on how to handle distribution.
"He was a Christmas angel in a white truck, with a bit of tinsel wrapped around the bullbar," who drove the truck himself around western Queensland, delivering the hampers, Mr Jones said.
His sons and daughter-in-law Stacey Ebert also shared their memories, Ms Ebert said he was reported as a 'great leader' and a 'mate' but very few people knew the family man.
"Steve lived well beyond his years," Ms Ebert said.
Cr Jones was later farewelled in a private burial ceremony by members of his family.
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