You can learn a lot about the life David Livingston led by looking at the town of Jeparit.
His family home is the one you see dead ahead if you follow the town's main street, Roy Street, to the end. Behind it is the Wimmera River, which he loved swimming in.
On his fence are the Australian and Geelong Cats flags. On his doorstep lies a mat with the words "spoiled grandchildren live here". In his backyard is a veggie patch, and in his house are loving family and friends, all of them for whom he had a unique nickname.
Mr Livingston passed away on October 1, aged 89, after a short battle with brain cancer discovered after a trip to the hospital for a broken hip.
He is survived by his wife Maree, his children Peter, Gaye, Tracey and Garry and nine grandchildren. They remember their father as a many who loved many things, and loved them hard.
"He wouldn't call people by their nickname or their name," Peter said. "He'd have his own nickname for them. One girl would be Lady Godiva, one would be Floss, and he had silly nicknames for all of us."
READ MORE: Missing Horsham man could be in Bendigo
"He and Maree were among the last of their age group to live in Jeparit as a couple," Gaye said.
"He was born here into a long family of Livingstons. His father George came as a teacher at the primary school in early 1903 from Lawloit, and then he got involved in all the town's clubs and everything, and he was a founder with (former Prime Minister) Sir Robert Menzies' father (James) of the signing to make Jeparit a town."
Mr Livingston's activities in life reflect the thriving community Jeparit was across the 20th century.
While working the town dairy with his father after leaving school at 14, he also played in Jeparit and Nhill's brass bands, was in Jeparit's Swimming Club.
He was a member of the town committee and Jeparit River and Environment, vice president of Jeparit's Scout Committee, joined Jeparit Anglican Church, was on the gate at the Jeparit Show, a foundation member of Jeparit Lions Club, captained Jeparit Golf Club, served as secretary for the senior citizens Blue Ball Club, volunteered with the Lake Hindmarsh Foreshore Committee, and was a foundation member of Jeparit Waterwatch.
With the latter commitment, he kept an eye on river water quality.
"He hated the way they neglected the weir," said Garry. "So he and a mate used to go out with rags and old bags and block it all up and stop it leaking - this is when he was in his 60s - because he just loved the river."
After retiring early, he continued his community pursuits, notching up no less than 73 years of service at Jeparit Fire Brigade, attending every meeting and giving advice to young recruits.
"Even in his later years he would man the radio while others went out on the truck," Tracey said.
Mr Livingston received Hindmarsh Shire Council's citizenship award on Australia Day 2019.
Peter said Mr Livingston's most talked about achievement in town is the time he swam Lake Hindmarsh.
"As a 21-year-old, he was a champion swimmer because he grew up next to the river and that was where the swimming club trained," Gaye said.
"So his mates dared him and said 'You can't swim the lake all the way across, and he said 'Well I can!'.
"So one windy day they went out there and it was eight miles from Schultz's Beach to Picnic Point, and he swam, and they his mates followed in a boat behind to make sure he didn't put his feet on the bottom. He reckons he swan nine miles because he zig-zagged!"
"He reckoned half the town was there to greet him when he got out of the water," said Peter.
Despite the many plates he had spinning across his life, Mr Livingston always managed to find the time for his family.
"That always came first," Gaye said. "He always encouraged and beckoned us here for every celebration: He wanted nothing but for everyone to be together, and he just made it so happy and fun. he was always smiling, whistling, shiacking (sic), and our friends would come here as well."
On Friday, Mr Livingston had his dying wishes honored by having his coffin placed on the back of fire truck he once served in and bought for the Wimmera-Mallee Pinoeer Museum. A friend, Horsham's Trevor Chiltern, drove the truck.
With only 20 people allowed at Friday's funeral, everyone that came to town to see him off formed a socially distanced guard of honour, lining the streets along the route to the cemetery.
The bell at the Lutheran Church rang 89 times, one for every year he lived, and police saluted as he passed. His four children were overwhelmed by the show of appreciation.
"We didn't ask people to come, people just asked us and said 'I am coming'," Gaye said.
At the 2016 census there were 477 people in Jeparit, down from 632 five years earlier. Perhaps symbolically, the lake has been dry since February 2014.
Mr Livingston's own parents live in Geelong, Horsham and Warracknabeal, though a third cousin, Campbell, came back to live in the town a few years ago.
"He was very sad with how Jeparit had become," Gaye said.
"(Former Prime Minister) John Howard wrote a book about Sir Robert Menzies for schoolkids, and he wanted to meet Dad because he was the oldest in the town who knew a lot about Menzies. All Dad wanted to tell him was what the town used to be like: How many shops were here, how many farms.
"We are so, so proud, and we've got a lot to live up to."
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to the Wimmera Mail-Times, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Wimmera's story. We appreciate your support of local journalism.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.