Click or flick across for photos of Kim Mitselburg.
UNDER his beard, tattoos and motorbike leathers, Kim Mitselburg had a heart of gold.
The 53-year-old Thurgoona husband, father and grandfather was killed on Friday night.
The Albury hospital porter crashed his beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle on
Fallon Street, North Albury, about 11pm as he rode home to his family after visiting friends.
Lynn, his wife of almost 30 years, his two daughters Chelsea, 28, and Casey, 24, and granddaughter Ruby, 11 months, yesterday gathered around a table in Mr Mitselburg’s shed at the back of the Thurgoona home he built 28 years ago.
“It’s a museum of dad,” Casey said of the shed with a sign “Kim’s Sacred Shed”.
“We’ve all turned to him when there’s been something wrong.
“Who do we call now?”
“He’s the rock and the heart and soul of our whole family.”
On the crammed shed walls were photos, of motorbike trips, his “God” and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, and testaments to his creativity — the bird aviary he built, VB cans that had been cut to form decorative wallpaper and tools hanging across another wall.
There was also evidence of his generosity, like a Camp Quality thank-you certificate.
Laughter had been shared within these walls, too, and it was where Mr Mitselburg used to stop to search within himself.
His other sacred place was the Bethanga Lookout, where he would park his Harley and look out at the land and lake laid out below him.
“This is my sacred place,” he told Chelsea once.
“This is where I go to clear my head when no one else can understand where I’m coming from in life.”
Yesterday family and friends were dropping off food or sharing a drink, as his wife and daughters talked about the man at the centre of their lives.
Kim Mitselburg was born near Broken Hill and moved to Thurgoona 28 years ago with his wife.
She was his “Olive”, with Mr Mitselburg dubbed “Popeye” because of his propensity to flex his muscles and then tell his daughters with a grin: “You wouldn’t want to jump off them without a parachute”.
Mr Mitselburg worked as a Telstra pole inspector before five years ago he went into a job his family and friends say he should have started 20 years ago.
It was working as a porter at Albury hospital, ferrying the patients around the wards.
“The little old ladies getting portered around would say ‘I don’t want you, I want Kim’,” Chelsea said.
“He’s so loving and compassionate and he’s a people person and he’d turn a horrible situation into something that you could laugh about.”
Life had just clicked into place for Mr Mitselburg.
His first grandchild, Casey’s daughter Ruby, was born on November 4 last year, on the same date as his birthday and his father’s birthday.
And his two daughters are both getting married next year.
“You know what? I can die a happy man now,” he had told one of Casey’s friends at her engagement party.
“Both of my daughters have found love and I’ve got my little granddaughter who I’m just so proud of.”
At Albury hospital on Friday, staff paid a special tribute, forming a guard of honour as his body was taken away.