Tight-knit community mourn ‘friendly, artistic’ dad
A CLOSE friend and colleague of Nambour man Dale Etheridge has paid his respects to the "artistic, friendly" father tragically taken too soon.
The community is reeling over the loss of much-loved Mr Etheridge who died when his car hit a power pole along Image Flat Rd, Nambour on Sunday.
The 48-year-old died at the scene.
Dale Dowler, founder of The Shack where Mr Etheridge regularly volunteered, said he left a considerable void in the community centre and the town.
Mr Dowler said he was friends with the long-time Nambour man for 17 years, first playing indoor cricket together, then at the centre.
"Every person you meet leaves a deposit with you, sometimes it's positive, some negative. In Dale's case every time was a positive," Mr Dowler said.
"He was a good mate, and always willing to help out... quiet but in this friendly, unassuming way.
"He was just determined to give back to the community and pay it forward, that was the character of him."
From painting murals, drawings and odd jobs, Mr Etheridge pitched in where and when he could, always going above and beyond.
Mr Dowler said even through all of Mr Etheridge's health problems - which over five years included a stroke, a separate car crash and cancer battle - his willingness for charity rarely diminished.
Some of his murals decorate The Shack as well as various walls throughout the Coast.
"Art was a passion, but also therapy for himself, and others. He found a lot of joy in it," he said.
"We were numb when we heard and we will all feel the grief, but I don't think he'd want us to grieve too long, that's the kind of man he was."