STANLEY Lean bought each of his newborn grandchildren a fishing rod.
Fishing was one of the retired police officer's passions, alongside his love for family and an unwavering desire to serve his community.
When the former mayor of Mount Morgan is laid to rest on Thursday, a fishing reel will sit atop his coffin.
Spoken tributes will remember an endearing character, a loving husband, a devoted father and a man dedicated to improving the town he loved.
Stanley lost his fight with cancer on Friday, aged 69. He passed away peacefully in the Mount Morgan Hospital surrounded by "his three girls" - wife Sandra and daughters Tricia and Tracy.
"We were so lucky to be there," Tracy said yesterday. "On the last couple of days, we told so many stories, shared so many memories.
"We figured he wasn't a quiet, submissive person so we never left him in peace.
"We talked until we were blue in the face and when the stories stopped we started singing songs."
Sergeant Stanley Lean and his family arrived in Mt Morgan in 1984. He worked as a police officer until his retirement in 2003.
He joined the Mount Morgan Shire Council in 1998 and was elected mayor in 2000, a position he held until October 2004.
Tracy remembers how he embraced the top job.
"He really enjoyed working towards making Mt Morgan a better place," she said. "He just loved this town. It was his way, it was his life."
Stanley was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2005 for service to the community. He gave so much to others but he always had time for his family.
"He was such a larger-than-life person. In some situations, people can exhaust it all when they give so much to the community - but not dad.
"He was always there for us. He was a very loving family man and very supportive.
"We were so lucky to grow up with a father like him. He and mum were such a team, such a united front."
Stanley's funeral service will be held at 11am on Thursday at the Baptist Tabernacle in Norman Rd, Rockhampton.