MORE than 150 people attended the memorial service of former local Michael Clancy and his wife Carol, held on Saturday at St Clare's High School.
Michael and Carol were on their way home from a three week holiday in Europe aboard the ill-fated flight MH17 when it was shot down over war-torn Ukraine on July 17.
Family and friends have been left devastated by the loss, as have mourners from Albion Park Public School on the South Coast of NSW, where Michael had been a long time staff member and had recently retired as assistant principal.
Greater Taree City mayor, Paul Hogan said Saturday's service had been a fitting memorial for two well respected and much loved people and he was pleased to see the memorial end with 'life and positivity'.
"It was wonderful to hear the personal stories and recollections from Michael's brother Bryan and from Michael and Carol's children," said Paul.
Paul read the speech that Albion Park's principal, Glenn Danniels made at the memorial service on the south coast last weekend, in which Michael was described as a man who was "not only dedicated to his career, but to his school and his community".
"Many remember him as the person who said 'hello' to everyone and knew everybody's names and their families," Mr Danniels' speech continued.
"He was also renowned for helping 'wayward' students and making everyone feel special, as well as being a 'gun' at handball.
"His impact in the community was incredible but to our special education unit and the teachers and students within it, his impact was immeasurable."
Wife Carol was described as Michael's "rock".
"They were indeed, by all accounts, inseparable and did everything together. They were so much alike, they were almost one person."
Michael was the son of Michael Bryan Clancy and Joy Clancy.
He was the second eldest of five children, with brother Bryan and sister Ruth sharing some anecdotes about their older brother at the service.
He started school at St Joseph's Primary School, Taree in 1962 where he completed kindergarten through to year six, and was an altar boy in third class.
In 1969 he began secondary school at Taree Catholic High School (now St Clare's) but would finish his senior years at Taree High School in 1973, 1974, before going on to teachers college in Newcastle.
He was a natural teacher, professional, helpful, patient and caring and was adored by students and staff alike, as was Carol who was also a teacher.
"They were both extremely dedicated to their craft and profession and have left a profound impression on so many people."