Friends and family have paid tribute to popular Wagga teacher Barb Withers, who died while bushwalking at Mount Stanley several days ago.
Ms Withers, who worked as a teacher at Wagga TAFE's childhood education and care department, has been remembered for her passion for teaching and early childhood education.
She would have celebrated her 63rd birthday on Thursday.
Marg Casey, a close friend for more than 20 years, said Ms Withers was full of passion for her work.
"Her crazy sense of humour, delight in dressing up, singing, poetry and songwriting were her students' delight, or a nightmare for those less inclined to be extroverted."
She said Ms Withers was an independent thinker with a passion for sustainability and nature which was an inspiration to her students and those around her.
"Creating a garden in her home and in the workplace was a thrill for her," Mrs Casey said.
She also paid tribute to Ms Withers' independence.
"Her sense of personal justice and equity was her mantra for living, which on occasions could be a challenge for management," she said.
"Her legacy of generosity, compassion and high-spirited life will live on in her sons, grandson and family as well as all her friends in the early childhood centres throughout the Riverina, many of whom had been trained by Barb."
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Ms Withers's sons Jamie and Paul said their mother had been a strong positive influence on their entire family.
"The whole extended family have loved watching Barb flourish, are better people for her love, wisdom and zest for life and so thankful she made the most of her life and, although gone too soon, lived with no regrets."
Long-time friend and colleague Penny Wilks said Ms Withers was "known for her vibrant personality and genuine love for what she did."
"She will be remembered for her love of life, her passion for music, dance, sustainability and her ability to make learning fun."
She said Ms Withers "loved life and lived it to the full," travelling widely with her camping trailer and maintaining strong connections with her family.
She had recently moved across the border to Beechworth to be closer to her family with plans to continue to work for TAFE in a semi-retired capacity until the end of 2022.