New Zealand Post stalwart Hec Stockman, of New Plymouth, died in the ICU unit at Waikato Hospital surrounded by family on Friday, aged 65.
Mr Stockman started as a telegraph boy at New Zealand Post at age 15 and continued to serve the company for the rest of his life.
He worked as post master at the New Plymouth East post office before moving to NZ Post on Currie Street where he became manager.
In 2006 he and his wife bought the Waitara Post and Lotto franchise.
Daughter Maree Julian said her father was stubborn and determined but very generous, and loved his family.
"He was a really caring man. I think he would have liked to spend a bit more time with his grandchildren."
With no official qualifications, the "very clever man who liked to get things right" was entirely self-taught, she said.
Mr Stockman got into speedway racing at Waiwhakaiho, started racing Three Quarter Midgets at Stratford then went on to become New Zealand champion in 1983.
His daughter said he was very much a Taranaki bloke.
"He loved his rugby. Followed Taranaki, followed the All Blacks."
Bernard Butturini, of NZ Post on Currie St, said Mr Stockman was a great boss who looked after his staff.
He played a major role in the transition from New Zealand Post Office to NZ Post in 1987, ensuring customers' accounts were paid, and also helped establish the new accounting system that laid the foundation for what NZ Post uses today, Mr Butturini said.
"He was a meticulous record-keeper, and passionate about anything he was involved in."
- Taranaki Daily News
Testing drugs on animals is:Related story: Animal tests 'key' to brain disease cures