Family man and cricket legend Wally Jones batted on in the toughest of times.
Nevermore so than when he risked his life to save daughters Emma and Sarah in a 1988 house fire but lost sons Shane and Nathan.
Walter Henry Jones, 74, will be laid to rest with his sons after his untimely death on September 3, one week after being diagnosed with cancer.
Family gathered at Dubbo's Western District Memorial Park to celebrate his many runs on the board.
Live streaming of the ceremony attracted more than 500 hits.
Dubbo born and raised, Wally Jones lived in the city for most of his life.
Upon leaving school he became a survey draftsman with the Macquarie County Council and continued to work with its successors including Country Energy until retirement in 2005.
"If you see a powerline out west, Wally had something to do with it," mourners were told at the service on September 10.
A peer, Anthony Oliver, says "surveyors like me, stand on the shoulders of giants like Wally".
In 1971 Wally Jones got a jolt to the heart when he and Ros Miller went on a blind date, involving a romantic dip in the Macquarie River.
They fell head over heels in love, exchanged vows in 1974 and had four children, Shane, Emma, Sarah and Nathan, before tragedy struck.
The couple overcame unimaginable heartbreak to have two more children, Clinton and Mitchell, with each birth reason for a crowd to gather at the Amaroo Hotel.
"Dad meant the world to us and the second chance we gave him meant something special to him as well," Clinton and Mitchell said.
Wally Jones built networks of friends through sport and as a tuba player in the Dubbo City Brass Band.
"There was never a quick dash to the shops as we always knew he would run into someone," Clinton said.
His father played many sports but cricket was his favourite.
"Besides Mum, it was probably his next true love," daughter Emma said.
"He scheduled his wedding and honeymoon around cricket.
"God forbid he ever missed a game."
Wally Jones was a founding member of Newtown Cricket Club and RSL Colts United Cricket Club.
He played the game for more than 30 years and represented Dubbo at district level.
The enthusiastic cricketer coached young players, possibly more than 1000.
"Still ringing in our ears are his words of wisdom," Clinton said.
"Move your feet, don't hit the ball in the air."
Wally Jones had a long innings as a devoted husband, father of six and grandfather of seven.
In a letter penned after his father's death, youngest son Mitchell defined his status within the family.
"You were a hero to me Dad," he said.
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