A COUPLE who died in a Howlong car crash last week have been described as "two beautiful people" and "the salt of the earth".
Terry and Belinda Ward had been returning to their home at Corowa from an Albury shopping trip last Wednesday afternoon when they were fatally wounded after their Toyota Yaris and a Toyota LandCruiser collided.
Mrs Ward's father Don Bradshaw, 81, a passenger in her car, was flown from the scene to a Canberra hospital and is now recovering after having been in a critical state.
Married for more than 30 years, the Wards moved to Corowa from Melbourne to be closer to Mr Bradshaw and his late wife Jan.
Mrs Ward's brother David Bradshaw told The Border Mail the couple were "just two beautiful people".
"She was just a really good, lovely person, to the point where we made fun of that - that's terrible, but that's the truth," Mr Bradshaw said of his sister.
"Terry was a mirror image of Belinda, he was so kind and so genuine.
"Terry would always make a point of checking in on me and saying he loved me and was proud of me, no matter what.
"He was very caring."
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Mr Ward, 62, did voluntary work at the Karinya aged care hub at Corowa and he and Mrs Ward, 54, were part of the congregation of Wangaratta's Adventist church.
Neighbour Sandra Moloney and her husband George were long-time friends of the couple who lived next door to Mrs Ward's father.
"They were very, very caring people, very loyal," Mrs Moloney said.
Whenever we went away they would look after our house and we would do the same.
"Terry was a very enthusiastic guy and they were just beautiful people.
"They were the salt of the earth."
The Moloneys are looking after the Wards' four-month-old Scottish terrier Timmy, who had been waiting for them to return home.
David Bradshaw said the dog had only been recently bought to help provide company for his widowed father.
"Dad was desperate for a bit of company and had not had a dog for awhile and together the three of them got the dog," Mr Bradshaw said.
"I know the puppy brought a lot of joy to the three of them."
Mrs Ward was born in Wagga, the oldest of three children, and moved to Warburton near Melbourne during her primary school years.
She initially worked at a hospital before moving into retail with Kmart.
The Wards were introduced to each other through a family connection and married soon after they met.
Originally hailing from New Zealand, Mr Ward's career was largely spent working for the National Australia Bank's printing division which produced items such as deposit and withdrawal slips.
Mrs Ward's parents had retired to Corowa after having regularly holidayed in the Murray River town and she and her husband followed suit.
"She was very dedicated and she loved my mum and dad and she loved Terry," David Bradshaw said.
"Terry dedicated his life to looking after dad and he was incredibly kind and generous."
Police are continuing to investigate the crash with the driver of the Landcruiser, a woman, 38, suffering a minor head injury.