Family pays tribute to husband, father
TRIBUTES have been paid to well-known Urunga businessman Jason Hickey following his tragic death while surfing on Jetty Beach this week.
Honoured as a selfless, caring and community-minded individual, who served the Urunga branch of the State Emergency Services, Mr Hickey, 42, was yesterday fondly remembered by family and friends.
"Jason was a devoted family man; a wonderful father to his three boys, Jack, Angus and Rogan; a wonderful husband to Kristy and much-loved part of his large family," the Hickey family said in a statement.
"He was a local Urunga business owner for over 20 years and a valued part of the Urunga community, a member of the SES for 24 years and coach of the U11s Coffs Crusaders Rugby Union.
"He loved his golf, fishing, surfing, camping and having a beer or two and a fine red wine.
"Jason enjoyed the finer things in life and will leave a very big hole in the lives of his friends and family.
"The community will be deeply saddened by his passing.
"His wife Kristy and sons would like to thank the people who assisted with Jason's rescue, especially Amber and Milton plus hospital and ambulance staff.
"We would also like to thank friends and family for their well wishes."
Urunga SES Unit Controller Mervyn Rose said Jason had followed the Hickey family's tradition of community service.
"The Hickey family has basically been the backbone of volunteer emergency response in the Urunga area, serving not only the State Emergency Service but also prior to the transition to the SES when the unit was the Volunteer Rescue Association.
"Jason joined when he was 18 years of age, joining his brothers Wayne and Gavin as unit members. His father Ray was bestowed as the Urunga SES unit's first life member.
"They are a remarkable family of service and Jason's passing is a terrible loss for the Urunga community," he said.
Jason's funeral will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church in Bellingen on Friday at 11am.