A POPULAR Bundaberg butcher has been described as "a happy person that took everything in his stride" by family after he was killed in a horror accident on Sunday.
Bruce Saunders, 54, died suddenly after becoming trapped in a woodchipper on a property in Goomboorian, east of Gympie.
Nephew Scott Schnabel said his uncle was a born and bred Bundaberg man who would be sorely missed by the many people he crossed paths with.
"Uncle Bruce worked at his dad's, Noel Saunders', butcher shop called Saunders Quality Meats and ended up taking over ownership around the year 2003," he said.
"His wife, Debbie, fell critically ill with breast cancer which took her life in September, 2009.
"Uncle Bruce will be sadly missed by all family members but at least he is back by his true loves side, Aunty Debbie, and once again gets to see his father."
Mr Saunders' brother-in-law Barry Schnabel said the friendly butcher was "someone you could sit and talk to about anything".
"Last time I saw him he was laughing and happy and even my staff said that he was such a happy go lucky person," he said.
"I will always remember his smile.
Mr Saunders' niece Katrina Harrington said his sudden passing had taken its toll on the whole family.
"We are all still in shock, it is devastating news and the Saunders, Hills family, Harrington family and Doman family want to send lots of love to Blake (Bruce's son) and all other family members our deepest condolences," she said.
Mr Saunders' sister Susanne left a beautiful tribute on the NewsMail Facebook page about growing up with her older brother.
"I remember when we used to get on the swings at home and we used to have a bet as to who could swing the highest," she said.
" I have so many good times of us growing up at home .
"I'm going to miss that smile and your laugh - God took you way too soon.
"Until we meet again, RIP my brother love and miss you so much, your baby sister, Susanne."
Police are still investigating the incident but said the death was not suspicious.
Two friends, who were working alongside Mr Saunders on Sunday, desperately tried to free him as he was pulled into the machine, but police said he died instantly.
The three men had been using a hired woodchipper to help clear a woman's driveway when the horrendous event unfolded at 7.40pm.
What the community said...
Debbie Duggan I remember growing up with you Bruce, being trained by my dad on how to play squash along with your best mate Gary Brown. You were are great butcher, community member and great bloke. You will be missed. Condolences to Bruce's family.
Shelly Anderson So sad to hear this news, you always had a big smile and big heart, from being at school with you to going to the butcher shop I will always have fond memories of you Bruce. Condolences to your family
Roxanne Mclean My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. RIP Bruce. I remember back in our swimming days at Bundaberg Swim Club on Tuesday night meets. Your cheeky smile will surely be missed.
John Knock Oh so sad. Met Bruce in 1988 when I first got here as him and Noel were one of the first Bundaberg family owned butchers I delivered to. RIP mate.
Wendy Simpson What a tragedy and to happen to such a truly wonderful soul. Bruce you were a wonderfully kind, gentle and jovial person throughout your life. We were honoured through marriage to call you cousin along with Blake. The times we shared are now a memory to treasure. Rest now. But taken too soon. Lovingly remembered by all the Maroondan Simpson family.
Brendon James Dern RIP Brucey, can't believe this mate it was always great working with you at the butchers. You'll be sadly missed, buddy. Condolences to family.
Anne Fresta Our condolences to all the family. I loved coming to the butcher shop you were always so friendly. RIP Bruce, gone to soon.