A photo of Jason Rich and his brother Alex as well as a bottle of rum sat atop Jason’s coffin yesterday.
A photo of Jason Rich and his brother Alex as well as a bottle of rum sat atop Jason’s coffin yesterday. Chris Ison

Family and friends farewell Jason

JASON Rich was a “shooting star” in the eyes of all who met him.

He was cheeky, full of life and compassionate.

And during his short life it was quite obvious the Yeppoon man touched the hearts of many as more than 300 people attended at the North Rockhampton Crematorium yesterday to celebrate his life.

Jason, 21, was killed in a car accident on December 30 when his car hit a tree off the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road about 6.15am, on his way to work.

Yesterday mourners wore bright colours as a symbol of Jason’s life and personality.

And at the end of the ceremony his father Wayne, mother Tracey and younger brother Alex, set free a colourful array of balloons.

Jason, an electrician at Ergon Energy, had a “zest for life”, loved his car, fishing with his dad, had just bought his own house and couldn’t wait to take Alex out for his first drink when he turned 18.

Tears mixed with laughter filled the chapel when his two best mates, Jacob McLuskie and Matt Jancauskas, stood up to address the room.

Jacob quoted from the song All Star by Smash Mouth – a song that described Jason as well as a song they once sung to in their Year 7 band JAM!

“My world’s on fire how about yours, that’s the way I like it and I’ll never get bored” and; “all that glitters is gold, only shooting stars break the mold.”

Jacob said the band’s name JAM! stood for each initial of its members but Jason had to be the exclamation mark because he had already claimed the letter ‘J’.

“It could not have been more fitting,” he said.

“He was the exclamation mark on my life and so many others in this room.”

Matt told the story of when, on a camping trip at Five Rocks, Jason got lost for 12 hours and sparked a massive search.

He said that after three hours of attempting to put up his tent Jason had said forget this “I’m off to The Stadium” and wandered off with his phone.

Matt said they all assumed someone came to get him, but they were woken by the water police the next morning asking if they had lost a friend.

“They said Jason had been calling Triple 0 for the last six hours as he was stuck in the hills,” he said.

“Ten minutes before the rescue helicopter was due to depart a half naked figure stumbled onto the beach.

“He left in clothes and came back in dirty jeans. And much to our jealousy he was eating a jam sandwich and apple a police officer had offered him from his own lunch.”

Matt said despite being lost for the night, Jason headed straight to the Yeppoon races.

“He never wanted to miss out on a single opportunity to hang with his friend and get his picture taken.”

Family and friends continued their celebration of Jason’s life at the Capricorn Tavern yesterday.

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