PAT Saunders plied his trade as an entrepreneur with quick wit, humour and the dulcet tones of a true radio voice.
A larger than life character who loved the western plains of NSW, Mr Saunders worked as a farmer, radio presenter, salesman and tourism and promotions officer.
The loving father, grandfather, husband and friend died at Narromine on February 26 at age 84.
A private cremation has already been held and a large crowd is expected to attend a memorial service at Narromine Aero Club from 2pm on Monday, March 9.
Paterson James Saunders (affectionately known as PJ) was born at Inverell on May 18, 1930. His family returned to Sydney and lived at Darling Point.
Mr Saunders was educated at Scots College where he excelled at cricket and rugby.
He entered the textile weaving business after leaving school and combined business with sport, playing for I Zingari - one of Australia's oldest cricket clubs, based at Camden Park.
That was where he met his first wife, Pamela. They married in 1958 and moved to Mudgee where Mr Saunders started his farming life growing tomatoes for Fountain tomato sauce.
Sons Kirkland (Kai) and Christopher (Kiff) were born in 1961 and 1962.
"Our parents separated in the mid 1960s and dad moved to Dunedoo where he continued farming," Kiff Saunders said.
"He married June Harris, had two daughters, Brook and Holly, and returned to Mudgee.
"He was still farming and got into radio when his great mate Ron Camplin purchased 2MG.
"Dad divorced again and relocated to Narromine, living in Dandaloo Street before moving to Ross and Sarah Sheppard's property 'Baroona' in 1979.
"He lived there for a long time and took on entrepreneurial work in radio, promotions, tourism and all the other things PJ did.
"He was the 'sheep man' for Dubbo radio station 2DU and did a lot of promotion work for the Riverdale and Orana Mall shopping centres.
"He moved into Narromine and built a home called The Olive Grove on the Macquarie River.
"He reconnected with Del Poulton and married her. Del died in 2013."
Kiff Saunders described his father as a friend's friend and larrikin, an ideas man who was always busy connecting with people.
"Dad's eloquence and dulcet voice were affected by a stroke several years ago.
"Not being able to express himself quickly and clearly was hard but Dad still had a good friendship base and people around him.
"I saw him in hospital the week before he died and he still had that cheeky grin. He was very comfortable about who he was and didn't aspire to be anything else. He liked to bring happiness to others - that was his charm really.
"He got up every day and made the most of it. For a guy who grew up in the city he came to the country and found his place.
"He was a man of the west and didn't want to be anywhere else."
Bathurst-based radio identity Ron Camplin said Mr Saunders had been his dearest friend for nearly 60 years.
"PJ was very, very special and we always had a lot of fun together," Mr Camplin said.
"As a young man he was like a prince, the best looking youngster I had ever known in my life.
"He was a great charmer and got into a lot of mischief, especially with beautiful ladies.
"Loved by everyone, he was the most affable, friendly, fun man. A lot of people will miss him."
Mr Camplin recalled the day Mr Saunders walked into 2MG Mudgee with plans to record news segments for the radio station during a trip to America.
"Pat had a tape recorder and wanted me to buy him some cassettes. The stuff he sent through for our news reports was very good.
"He later came up with an idea that evolved into a very successful Farmer of the Year radio promotion.
"We changed the whole concept of 2MG and called it Farm Radio. Pat would get off his tractor and come into the station every day to do a farm report from 1-2pm.
"It became very popular, even with townspeople, because Pat was so good on air.
"He was a true entrepreneur who would think of something and take it right through to conclusion."
Philanthropic businessman and former owner of the Daily Liberal newspaper and Macquarie Publications publishing group, John Armati, said Mr Saunders was vigorous in his promotion of Dubbo and the western plains.
"He was involved in a number of special publications with the Daily Liberal and was very good at coming up with ideas," Mr Armati said.
"Pat was a fun-loving guy who also had a serious side. He had great enthusiasm for the bush and was very effective in exploiting the benefits of living in Dubbo."