Mourners pay tribute to Rasta Kemp, 24, who died last month at a Benalla factory. Girlfriend Ebony Clark lauds her soulmate.

Cherished: The order of service for Rasta Kemp's funeral. A framed version of the same photograph was carried by his girlfriend Ebony Clark and placed on his coffin for the service.

Cherished: The order of service for Rasta Kemp's funeral. A framed version of the same photograph was carried by his girlfriend Ebony Clark and placed on his coffin for the service.

A YOUNG man who died at a Benalla timber business has been remembered as the “best dad” and a “soulmate” by his girlfriend and mother of his son, 2.

Ebony Clark’s was one of several tributes read to mourners at the graveside farewell for Rasta Kemp, 24, at Winton Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon.

Ms Clark, joined by son Oliver, carried a framed photograph of Mr Kemp as she walked ahead of pall-bearers as the funeral began.

The portrait rested on Mr Kemp’s coffin, along with bouquets and fabric featuring rastafarian colours and reggae singer Bob Marley, during the service.

Ms Clark told of the couple chatting into the night when they first met and the romance producing Oliver. 

“I remember when I found out I was pregnant with Oliver, you were so excited, you couldn’t wait to meet him,” Ms Clark wrote.

“You always said you were going to be the best dad and you definitely were. Oliver loved you so much.”

The impact of Mr Kemp’s death, due to a machine injury at D & R Henderson on May 30, was clear in Ms Clark’s closing words.

“I’m going to miss you so much Rasta,” she wrote.

Tribute: Car stickers which have been made to honour Rasta Kemp.

Tribute: Car stickers which have been made to honour Rasta Kemp.

“You’re my soulmate.

“You, Oliver and I were together every single day and it’s going to be so empty without you.

“We love you with all our hearts and I can’t wait until I see you again, love always.” 

Other family tributes, read by celebrant Damien Feehan, depicted Mr Kemp as someone who had a contagious laugh, a love of cars, Xbox and music as well as a larrikin touch.

The Nissan owner enjoyed pinching lolly snakes and once hid a shoe in a garden and took delight in it taking his Nan four months to find.

A young niece read out a letter telling of how she and her siblings enjoyed jumping with their uncle on the trampoline, playing Xbox and “doing laps in your rice burner”.

“You were the best uncle ever and we wish this didn’t happen to you Rasta,” she said.

Songs, Puff Daddy’s I’ll Be Missing You, Post Malone’s I Fall Apart and Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, followed. 

The occasion, which was attended by two CFMEU members, ended with 10 red and black balloons being released into the sky by Mr Kemp’s nieces and nephews.

They were accompanied by the theme song of Essendon, his football club. 

While you’re with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each day at 6am from The Border Mail? To make sure you’re up to date with all the Border and North East news, visit our homepage and sign up.