Topics:  fatal crash, funeral, northern co-operative meat company

Together in life and in death

Friends and family farewell Warren and Robert.
Friends and family farewell Warren and Robert. Cathy Adams

ROBERT Needham liked to pull things apart: household appliances; his house.

Warren Endres's ability to piece things back together again was legendary.

Robert could be a stirrer.

Warren was a calming influence.

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But despite appearing to be polar opposites, the pair who met on the first day of work at Casino's Northern Co-operative Meat Company in 2001 would become inseparable in life and death.

They were farewelled at a joint funeral at St Mark's Anglican Church in Casino yesterday.

Robert, 41 and Warren, 35, died late last month when the vehicle they were travelling to work in collided with another on the Summerland Way at Leeville.

The church overflowed with more than 400 mourners, including dozens of workmates who formed a guard of honour for the pair affectionately known as Bert and Wal.

The meatworks, with 1100 employees closed for the day at 9am out of respect.

Plant manager Geoff Davis said workers and management had been devastated by the loss of the "likable larrikins".

Staff had taken up a collection for the family.

Meatworks chairman George Bennett said the pair's families would be "financially taken care of" by the company.

Mourners heard that Robert had recently admitted that his first impressions of Warren had been less than positive.

"I don't know about this mullet-haired, eyebrow-pierced guy they've teamed me up with," he said to himself.

But "the pullerer apart" and the "putterer back together" who both had twin brothers called David, quickly formed an unbreakable bond which saw them rarely apart.

Robert and his "soul mate" of 16 years Joanne, enjoyed their last romantic interlude at the wreckers rummaging for car parts - with Warren.

Robert, a father of four girls, grabbed his wife's hand and quipped, "This is like we're on a date!"

Warren, who enjoyed "a 17-year love affair" with Helen, was a "patient and kind" stepfather to two children.

A charity golf day will be staged on July 29 to raise funds for the families of the two men.



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