Max Perring "stuck with Dubbo" and became one of its modern-day pioneers of commercial development.
He wasn't tempted to seek out potentially more lucrative opportunities elsewhere, opting instead to focus on the city he called home from 1969.
Long-time Dubbo real estate agent, Bob Berry, is tipping his hat to the late Mr Perring, calling him "one of the people most responsible for the growth of Dubbo over the last 30 to 40 years".
"He stuck with Dubbo, he put his money into Dubbo and he put his vision into Dubbo," Mr Berry said.
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Maxwell Cameron Perring, 97, died last month after a full life that took him from rags to riches.
Born into poverty at Grafton, he became financially responsible for his family as a teenager.
At the age of 17 he joined the Australian Army and fought in World War II, during which his leadership skills propelled him into the ranks of officers.
After the war Mr Perring ran and owned businesses on the South Coast before coming to Dubbo to be the publican at the Western Star Hotel.
In the 1980s he joined forces with Jim Crampton to build "spec homes".
Mr Perring's leap into commercial development was not without extensive research and precise organisation, skills he picked up in the army.
"He would look at companies which he thought were needed in Dubbo and approach them," Mr Berry said.
"He built the buildings and then leased them to these companies. What he did wasn't easy but he did it well."
Mr Perring's family tell of his continuing interest in improving the city right up until his death from pneumonia.
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In a euology, daughter Chris Knight said "many of his ideas were years before his time".
"Dad has left a visible impact on Dubbo through the numerous buildings he constructed, and as we drive around the town and see them we will always remember him," she said.
The Perring family also credit their patriarch with building the foundations of a strong family.
"Even though he was a successful businessman we feel his greatest achievement was the strength of character he gave his children and the guidance and love he gave his grandchildren," Mrs Knight said.
"He encouraged us to make our own decisions and be responsible for our actions."
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The Western Districts Memorial Park chapel was full for Mr Perring's cremation service.
The ashes of the admired father of four, grandfather of 12 and great grandfather of 17 will be placed next to those of his beloved wife Joan.