Wollongong real estate agent Bob Onofri, who famously operated his full-time business without a computer has died, aged 91.
Earlier this year, Mr Onofri retired after 60-plus years in the industry.
Mr Onofri was a fixture of Illawarra real estate, having operated from the same location in Crown Street for more than 50 years.
His daughter Marina Thimios told the Mercury that her "flamboyant, one-of-a-kind" father had died on Monday morning after a short illness.
Mr Onofri, well-known for being impeccably dressed, was a friendly, likeable character who resonated with and was beloved by Mercury readers. There was an outpouring of community support when his retirement was announced.
His daughter described him as "above all a true and kind gentleman".
"We will all be wearing suits," she said on Monday. "It's just an end of an era really; (he was) loved by young and old.
"There were people who used to come in and pay the rent and left with wine and chocolates for their kids.
"We found out recently that he used to cover the bond for people and they would pay him back... He recognised the plight of young people."
Initially a boilermaker by trade, Mr Onofri relocated to Australia in 1952 so he could earn money to send back to his family in Italy.
He worked on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme from 1954 to 1956.
He worked at EPT at Port Kembla for several years, and then started working in real estate in 1961.
He launched his own business, Coastline Realtors, in 1967. The name was changed to Bob Onofri Real Estate in 1974.
In recent times, relatives had assisted with the day-to-day online aspect of the business, including processing payments and helping manage leases.
However, it was largely a one-man operation, maintaining a modest shopfront with photographs and typed descriptions of his latest listings posted in the window.
And you could forget about the modern trappings of a mobile phone, computer, website or social media - Mr Onofri happily operated without any of them.
He was still using his original telephone switchboard.
"I don't know how to use it, I don't need it," he said last year of modern technology.
"I go by word-of-mouth, and people, they know me."
Mr Onofri's wife Ruth died in 2006.
Mr Onofri previously told the Mercury that he believed relationships and treating the customer with respect remained crucial aspects of working in real estate.
"After all these years, I see people morning, day and night, and they help keep me alive," he said.
"It's because that's what I like to do; I like to meet people, and if I can help, I'll always go out of my way to help them."
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