A MAN who died in a tragic accident on Thursday has been described as a “classic, old-school real estate gentleman” by his family and friends.
Tamworth real estate stalwart Bob Milne is survived by his wife of 46 years, Bronwyn, and four children and grandchildren who say the 69-year-old will be sorely missed.
Mrs Milne said he was a “wonderful, easy-going man and husband,” and that it was a shock for the community of Tamworth.
“I’ll miss his company most of all,” Mrs Milne said.
“Bob was a very popular person in the community, it’s going to be a shock for a lot of people.”
Mrs Milne said she knew something serious had happened when police knocked on her door late on Thursday afternoon.
Police are still investigating the circumstances of Mr Milne’s death on Thursday afternoon after a tractor accident in North Tamworth, but it is believed he died of natural causes.
“I knew as soon as I saw them. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
Friend and industry colleague David Doherty, of Tamworth City Real Estate, also paid tribute to Mr Milne, saying it was a sad loss for the real estate community.
“I’ve known Bob for over 20 years. He was a classic, old- school real estate agent, one of only a small handful left,” Mr Doherty said.
“From my experience, Bob was a respected agent, but most of all he was a nice bloke with a good sense of humour.”
Born in England, the then 16-year-old joined the navy and met his future wife while she was holidaying there.
Mrs Milne said she knew instantly the “gorgeous larrikin sailor” was the man she wanted to marry, and laughed as she recalled writing to her parents the day after she met him to tell them about her handsome suitor.
“He was quite wild and a bit of a larrikin but he never lost that gentlemanly side,” she said.
Moving to Australia in 1968, Mr Milne was introduced to the job that would become much of his life in Sydney, working for a real estate development company.
After a few years there, the newlyweds moved to Tamworth and he began working
as a property salesman for his father-in-law, Alan Ives.
Mr Milne eventually became the owner of Cousens, Ives and Bundy, a job he worked in and enjoyed for more than 30 years.
Mrs Milne said her husband was successful in real estate because of his love of people, honesty and tireless work ethic.
“He thoroughly enjoyed talking to people and liked to be out and about,” Mrs Milne said.
“He wasn’t a man who could stay at a desk all day.
“Bob took to real estate like a duck to water.”
After selling the business in 1999, Mr Milne fulfilled his dream of running his own agency, starting Bob Milne Real Estate the year after.
Mrs Milne said her husband worked 24/7 but he always reserved a special day of the week for his family.
“Sundays were always family day. The house was always full of people,” she said.
In his later years, Mrs Milne said her husband loved to potter around the house and yard fixing things.
“He was a handyman. He’d have a go at anything,” she said.
Occasionally Mr Milne would get out a bucket of golf balls to hit around, to keep his eye in, Mrs Milne said.
Although he thrived on the thrill of making a sale, his main joy was his family –
children Penny, Morag, Alexander and Victoria, and grandchildren Oscar, Aidan, Pia and Abigail.
Penny’s 40th birthday falls today and Mrs Milne said her husband wanted all of his children, some of whom had moved away, back home for the celebration.
“He wanted everyone back home again for the party,” Mrs Milne said.
“He got his wish.”