Fond farewells for a great man
A GRANTHAM family has said its goodbyes to a loving cousin and nephew killed in the floods as the death of his mother is confirmed and the search for his stepfather continues.
25-year-old Josh Ross was farewelled by a large contingent of family members, friends and students from Laidley Central Childcare Centre.
He was killed when a wall of water hit his Grantham home on January 11.
Josh's cousin, Tenag'a, described her relationship with Josh as exceptionally close.
“We are technically cousins, but he was raised more like a brother,” she said.
“We all learned a lot from Josh.
“I learned not to take anyone for granted and he always managed to get me to cry laughing.
“This is his final test for us and we need to be strong for him.
“He would be so happy to see everyone in colourful clothes here today because his soul was as beautiful as a butterfly when he was alive and it still is now.”
Josh's aunt Bess Fraser said Josh was a renowned thrill seeker with a dress sense best described as individual.
“Only Josh could wear a set of penguin patterned satin pyjama pants as formal pants to the pub in Grantham,” she said.
“He enriched the lives of ever person whose life he touched.”
She was proud so many people came to pay their respects to Josh.
“We smile as we remember the Josh memories that we all have, and they brighten the day just like he did,” she said.
Community Leader, Aunty Therese Webster officiated the ceremony and said it was the celebration of the life of an extremely kind and popular man.
“He was loved by so many and so well known throughout the community,” she said.
“He didn't want us to be all doom and gloom.
“He wants everyone to be happy and that's why it is so good to see so many people wearing their bright colours.”
Aunty Therese said Josh had often discussed his ambition to go to the Northern Territory to teach with her.
“He had a fascination with my culture and it was his greatest ambition that he would go up there and teach Aboriginal children.”
The service was attended by hundreds of mourners at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Laidley with balloons released at the conclusion of the ceremony to commemorate Josh's final journey.