Sunshine Coast remembers Keith Gracie
There are several ways to define the concept of grace, one being the disposition to be generous or helpful, to be filled with goodwill.
From all accounts, Marcus Beach father-of-two Keith Gracie more than lived up to his name.
The Mooloolaba Surf Club patrol captain was among the 13 people on board the ill-fated charter flight enroute to the Kokoda Track when it crashed north of the village of Isurava in Papua New Guinea on Tuesday.
Wednesday was filled with mixed emotions for Mr Gracie’s loved ones.
It wasn’t until early afternoon that news filtered through a rescue team had made it to the crash site and found no survivors.
Mr Gracie had embarked on the Kokoda trip in support of his and his family’s good friend, Dr June Canavan.
The popular Coast sports doctor was fulfilling a promise to raise $50,000 for a school in Africa.
Mr Gracie was fulfilling a dream of trekking across the historical site and doing what he always did – supporting those he loved.
With her native South African tinging her voice, Keith’s wife Laurie had said she was holding out hope for her husband and her friend’s survival on Wednesday morning.
She said Dr Canavan had been a friend to the family for 15 years and the pair had been very excited about the trip.
Mrs Gracie is a woman who consoled others in her own time of despair and friends of the Gracie’s said her compassion and need to help others was a trait shared by her husband.
Friend and president of the Mooloolaba Surf Club, where Keith was an active member for more than a decade, Todd McKee, described Mr Gracie’s death as “a massive loss for the Coast”.
“Things the rest of us dream of doing, he goes out and does them. That is just the way he is,” Mr McKee said.
“He was extremely well liked and diligent and had his heart in his work. He was in it boots and all, in doing everything. He gave everything his all.”
Mr Gracie ran KMG Tilt Construction in Kunda Park and was well known through out the Coast community.
A gentle man with a heart-warming smile, those who knew him said the Coast had lost “one of their best”.
“He is a wonderful man, a wonderful family man,” a friend who did not want to be named contacted the Daily to say.
“People need to know we’ve lost someone very special, someone more of us should try and be like. It’s a massive loss.”