Wife pays tribute to husband hit by car in Hervey Bay

BRIAN Valentine enjoyed nothing more than sitting at his computer and writing poetry about the region he loved.

His wife Jill has shared memories of her husband, who died in Hervey Bay Hospital after he was struck by a car in Torquay earlier this month.

He was affectionately known as the Bard of the Bay by his family and friends and during his retirement he wrote a series of books, much of it poetry about the Fraser Coast and surrounds.

Brian was particularly fascinated by the annual visit of the humpback whales to Hervey Bay and many of his poems were about the majestic creatures.

He loved to go to the annual Ocean Festival and tell children at the event stories about the whales, Jill said.

Jill said she had been forced to buy a laptop because her husband was on the computer for hours at a time while writing his poetry and she rarely got a look in.

She said writing was his passion and it kept him busy over the years.

"It was something he did later in life, it started when we moved here," Jill said.

"He just liked to spin stories."

Brian also loved to research and study his family history.

Jill, who was married to Brian for 43 years, said her husband was out for his nightly walk when he was struck by the car about 6pm on August 7 while crossing the road in Bideford St.

He liked to walk to the nearby lake, which was his favourite place, Jill said.

Brian had mild dementia, but there had been no reason to suspect he would be unsafe while walking around an area he was familiar with, Jill said.

Jill found out what had happened from the police after she became concerned when Brian didn't return home.

Brian battled bravely to survive and was conscious and even cracking jokes while on the phone to his daughter the day before he died.

But Jill said other health problems, including prior lung damage, may have contributed to his death, along with the serious injuries Brian suffered after he was struck by the car.

A funeral was held for Brian at the chapel at Torbay Retirement Village on August 17 and Jill said it was a celebration of his life.

"That's the way he would have wanted it," she said.

Brian and Jill lived in Bargara before moving to Hervey Bay, where they have lived for 17 years.

Jill said the two had enjoyed travelling together and had seen most of Australia, as well as travelling overseas and going on cruises.

"We loved seeing Australia," she said.

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