The late Bob Thurling was known for his caring and compassionate attitude towards others as well as his humility and sense of humour.
These were constant characteristics across the many roles he fulfilled, whether as a coroner or clerk of petty sessions at Goulburn Courthouse, or as an instigator and driver for the local Patient Transport Service.
Mr Thurling has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the general division in the Queens Birthday Honours List for service to the community of Goulburn over many years.
His citation reads that he "gave much to the Goulburn Health Service as a member, Continuum of Care Committee, from the 1990s and also as the founding member of the Goulburn Patient Transport Unit (1999-2003) as well as being a volunteer driver until 2010."
He was also a treasurer of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Goulburn Unit, and had been a member of the Society since 1963. He was also a finance and committee member of the Mary Queen of Apostles Catholic Parish.
He worked in the NSW Department of Justice as a Chamber Magistrate and Coroner, Goulburn from 1992 to 1999.
Prior to that, he had a long public service career at the Department of Lands and the War Service Land Settlement Board.
His wife Valerie was very proud of her late husband.
"He would have been very proud too, but he may also have been a bit surprised by it all," she said.
"He was a very humble man. He was the best husband in the world."
She said Mr Thurling was a compassionate man.
"He helped a lot of people with legal issues and advice and he was a very good listener," she said.
"Over the last few months, I have been going through the files and I have found many letters from people who have thanked him for his kindness and compassion and help in their time of need.
"He was a coroner. He said it was the most rewarding part of his job and he loved his job. People don't write letters like that lightly, a person has to have an impact on them to do that.
"He was also one of the instigators of patient transport from the hospital. He started recruiting friends to do it as well when they retired.
"He also drove for them for 13 years until his health deteriorated and he gave it away because he did not feel it was safe for him to continue anymore, but he loved doing it."
Mrs Thurling said Bob attempted to retire in 1999, but was contacted by the Police Academy and offered another job.
"He said he didn't want a job because he was retiring and they said you will want this one," she said.
"They trained compliance officers in how to take evidence, appear in court and prepare briefs of evidence and he acted as the magistrate in mock courts.
"It was not for the police but for organisations like Cityrail Waterways, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and other departments."
She said he did that until about 2010, but then gave it away so they could travel, which was something they had always planned to do together in retirement.
"We wanted to travel and see Australia and we did, we went right around the country," she said.
"We travelled up through the centre to the Three Ways in the Northern Territory and then we went to Queensland.
"On another trip, we went up the centre again but this time travelled down the western coast of Australia and back across the Nullarbor."
"There were lots of other trips as well, to Tasmania, and South Australia visiting relatives."
Mr Thurling passed away in Goulburn at the age of 79 in September, 2018.
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