Family farewell beloved CQ man after black lung death
TRISHA Buckton could have spent 100 years with her husband Tyrone and it still wouldn't have been long enough.
On the day which should have been a celebration of half a century of marriage, the Buckton family were instead clearing out the medical equipment which kept Tyrone alive for the past few months.
Tyrone died on May 31 in Rockhampton Hospital, surrounded by the family and friends who made the most of his final months.
Mount Morgan born and raised, there was no question Tyrone would build a career in the mines.
He hung up the hard hat in 2004 after 33 years as an above-ground drill operator near Moranbah.
His peaceful retirement with Trisha on their Alton Downs property was shattered by a diagnosis of Black Lung disease.
Several months after the diagnosis, a routine check during a chest infection in February found an aggressive cancerous mass on Tyrone's lung.
Although Tyrone's health deteriorated quickly, his strong spirit never wavered and Trisha said he maintained his pride and dignity until the end.
Trish said the family's last months with Tyrone were full of love and high spirits.
The family was also determined to spread the message about black lung, and encourage all mine workers to get regular check-ups.
During Tyrone's final days in Rockhampton Hospital, his family would take a guitar and sing to him.
Trisha said the day before he died was "the most beautiful day" where Tyrone's strength returned for a final hurrah, laughing and joking with all his visitors.
"We were privileged to have that time with him," Trisha said of their final months.
"I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
Over 300 people attended the funeral, held on Wednesday at the Great Western Hotel.
It was just the celebration Tyrone would have loved, with a country scene painted on a coffin donned with his signature hat and boots.
Trisha said one of the most surprising guests was the lawyer who helped fight their compensation claim.
"We just thought we were people that were forgotten, but we weren't," she said.