Killed motorcyclist wanted to come home
The last time Lorinda Nottingham heard from her husband, Steve, was when he sent her a text message saying he was missing her, and that he wanted to come home for "cuddles".
It was about 11am on Monday.
The Christchurch businessman, 59, and his brother, Brent, were riding their motorbikes south to Invercargill along the West Coast. They had stopped for a break as it was raining.
He texted her saying he did not want to carry on.
Lorinda replied, suggesting they stay put for the night.
She was planning to fly down to Invercargill to meet them on Friday and ride back home on the back of Steve's bike.
Since the forecast was for days of poor weather, the brothers decided to press on.
About six hours later, police knocked on Lorinda's front door and told her Steve was dead.
A northbound campervan had collided with the trailer attached to Steve's motorbike on a winding stretch of State Highway 6 near Haast about 1pm.
Brent, riding in front, witnessed everything in his rear-view mirrors.
Lorinda's only comfort is that her "loving, caring and generous" husband was killed instantly, while doing something he loved.
Steve was the owner/operator of Good Time Tours bus and transport company. He started the business with Brent, with one bus. The fleet had grown to about 20 buses, most of them used for school trips.
Before that, he started Action Alarms.
Lorinda said she could not understand how her husband could be killed on the road.
"He was always very cautious," she said.
The couple met four years ago on a blind date set up by Brent, who was Lorinda's workmate at the time.
She said she never expected to find love at that stage of life, but found happiness with him.
They married two years ago.
With a shared passion for motorbikes, classic cars and camping, they did everything together. Every weekend they would go for a ride, often to Oxford for a coffee.
"We were inseparable. He was just a really kind, gentle man.
"Life was meant to be enjoyed and that's what he was doing."
On long trips she would simply sit on the back of his bike.
She has her own motorbike, but cannot face riding it again.
Suzanne Nottingham, 30, said her father had a wicked sense of humour and loved being a grandfather. He was also a great singer and "loved karaoke".
Steve Nottingham is survived by his wife, two children, four stepchildren, two grandsons and three step-grandsons.