A COUPLE of weeks ago Jeffrey and Jenny Hills, their three sons and their girlfriends sat down to have dinner.
It was the first time all the group had been together.
It would also be the last.
More than 100 people crowded Newlife Church at Robina yesterday to farewell the “adventurous” father and son duo with music, stories and laughter at the memories.
Between flowers and photos against one wall was a helmet, a backpack and a parachute, the chute gifted to skydiver Matt not long before his death and never used.
Jeffery Hills’ sisters and brother remembered him as a hardworking, kind man with a love for life and a strong work ethic.
“Jeff quietly helped many organisations and people with his finances, skills and equipment,” eldest sister Suzanne told mourners.
“He didn’t speak about that help, and we only found out if someone told us.
“He would think of inventive ways to give Jenny birthday and anniversary gifts.
“One time he froze a pair of diamond earrings into a block of ice and she wasn’t allowed to chip away or use any heating device to get to her gift.
“It took days to melt.”
Both men were active members in their local church community.
Pastor Miles Paludan, whose young sons were close to Matt, grew emotional as he shared memories of their friend.
“His hobbies were anything thrillseeking,” he said.
“Wakeboarding, wavesurfing, skydiving, 200 jumps he had amassed.
“Indoor skydiving, jetskiing, which he crashed into a bridge, I don’t know how.
“I remember him taking my boys on some rides. I didn’t tell (my wife) but they always came back.”
The men are survived by Jeffery’s wife and Matt’s mother Jenny, Matt’s partner Jacqui, and Matt’s two younger brothers Jamie and Josh.
A statement from Jacqui was read out at the funeral, bidding goodbye.
“Jeff and Jenny made Matt the loving and kind man that he is,” she wrote.
“They gave me the most incredible man to love and to love back, and for that I’m forever grateful.
“Matt, you’re my one in a million, my best friend, and the love of my life.
“I will cherish the time I got to have with you for the rest of my life.”