MH17: Kiwi victim Robert Ayley's final email
British-born Kiwi Rob Ayley, who died aboard flight MH17, wrote to his family on the last day of his trip to say how much he was looking forward to coming home.
The 29-year-old was flying from Amsterdam on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was brought down by a missile over pro-Russia territory in the eastern Ukraine yesterday.
He had been away for a month visiting rottweiler breeders in Europe.
"I'm just looking forward to seeing the boys and Sharlene. It's been a long, long journey," he said in an email sent on the last day of his trip.
"We've seen the world's greatest rottweilers, we have established contacts, and made life-long friends, but now I'm just ready to come home. I hope all is well, if we don't talk before hand, I will see you on Saturday."
Today in a statement his family paid tribute to the man they described as "passionate about life".
He and his wife Sharlene have two boys, Seth, 4 and Taylor, 2.
His parents Jonn and Wendie also live in Wellington. "He found in his boys two little people he could love, understand and trust. When they cried they were sad, when they laughed they were happy and when they hugged it was because they loved him," his family said.
"He struggled to interpret body language and innuendo but he could understand his boys."
"Sharlene and Rob are soul mates. She is his "princess". She changed his life and he changed hers.
"She held his heart and he held hers. Rob will live forever in his family."
Wendie said the family spent yesterday hoping he had somehow missed his flight, before the awful news was confirmed.
"He lived for his family and he lived for his rotweillers," she said.
The Dominion Post